The WTR is due on any amount of royalty paid to or for the benefit of a foreign person from a source within South Africa.
The foreign person is liable for the tax. The person paying it to the foreign person must withhold this tax from the royalty payment. This would normally be the withholding agent.
A royalty is any amount that is received or accrues in respect of:
Royalties paid is taxed at a final withholding tax rate of 15%.
For information from 1 January 2015 the tax rate changed from 12% to 15%.
Where a withholding agent withheld withholding tax on royalties, a Return for Withholding Tax on Royalties form must be submitted to SARS with proof of payment for taxpayers that deal with Large Business.
Taxpayers that do not deal with Large Business unit returns must be submitted at your nearest SARS branch with the proof of payment.
A Withholding Tax on Royalties Declaration (WTRD) must be completed by the foreign person and be submitted to the withholding agent before an exemption or a reduced rate may be applied in the calculation of the withholding tax on royalty amount to be paid.
The withholding agent must keep the WTRD for five years, as you may be asked to send it to SARS. It is the responsibility of the payer to make sure that the declaration made by the foreign person is in the form as prescribed.
In the WTRD parts A, B and C of the must be completed.
The following exemptions may apply, to the foreign person, before paying the royalty to the foreign person:
It is important to remember that the exemptions won’t apply unless the WTRD has been submitted to the payer of the royalty before payment of the royalty is made.
Please Note a WTRD doesn’t need to be completed in order to qualify for the exemption when the royalty is paid by a headquarter company in respect of the granting of the use, the right of use or permission to use intellectual property under certain circumstances.
The withholding tax must be paid before the end of the month following the month in which the royalty was paid. The payer must (together with the payment) submit a WTR01 form (Return for Withholding Tax on Royalties, which is a summary of the total of all royalty payments made and tax withheld during a month, to SARS.
If the last day of the month happens to be a public holiday or weekend, the payment must be made on the last business day before the public holiday or weekend.