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Should one separate share investment and trading activities by creating a legal entity?

Posted 3 September 2013 under Tax Q&A


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It is apparent that there is a massive grey area when it comes to SARS interpretation on share investment vs share trading and the resultant taxation thereof.

I have a share investment portfolio (exceeding 3 years) and now also want to trade shares short term.These shares will include some of the very same shares that I hold long term in my investment portfolio. Can and will SARS accurately distinguish on an ongoing basis which shares I sell at any given time and tax me accordingly and correctly i.e. capital gains vs income?

I intend to trade with capital of 1mil. rand. Is it wise to separate these two activities and create a legal entity to trade under i.e. ( pty ltd co) and what are the negative considerations in following this route?

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TaxTim TaxTim says:
3 September 2013 at 23:46

Please explain further what you mean by the shares will be the same as held in the long term investment portfolio. Do you mean the exact same shares or shares of the same companies? Ideally though you would need to state upfront what your intentions are when holding the shares. If you have, as you say a long term investment portfolio, and this has been mandated and specified somewhere and you have not seen to be trading in these shares other than the old buy or sell. Or in fact the shares are bought and sold on your behalf then this will stay as capital account, especially after 3 years.

Regarding an investment for trading purposes, this again needs to be in a separate account or brokers account or however you intend trading them which has a different mandate. It is all about intention, but yet to answer your question you can separate these two without the need of a legal entity, but be specific as to how you transact and also show clear separation.


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