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All about NPOs in South Africa

We have touched on Public Benefits Organizations not so long ago on one of our #FunFactsWednedays video, let us to continue this chat. 

What is an NPO?

We cannot assume you know, let’s get to understand what an NPO is. An NPO is a Nonprofit Organisation that plays a significant role in society, they take responsibility of the social and development needs of the country.

How to get started: 

Just like any other business/organisation, there must be intent or purpose of starting. Start here: 

1️⃣ Define your goal – before you could even register, you just at least know what your NPO will stand for. Knowing your WHY is important, it will help you navigate things more especially in cases where you need to go back to the drawing board. What exactly do you hope to achieve once you start the organization? Read more: What exactly do you hope to achieve once you start the organization?

2️⃣ Choose your board of Directors – selecting management of the NPO is probably the most fundamental step. Bring in like-minded people on board, it’s even better to get people from different industries who could come in with different perspectives during different situations. 

3️⃣ Draft your memorandum – this is important as it proves your intention to register the organization as a “not-for-profit” company – followed by information about how the organization would be governed, owned, and other important things to note therein.

Lastly, register. 

About registering your NPO

You can submit your non-profit organisation (NPO) application at your nearest provincial  social development office or a local South African Revenue Service (SARS) branch office. 

Benefits of registering is that its certificate:

  • improves your credibility and increases funding opportunities
  • it allows your organisation to open a bank account
  • helps your organisation with tax incentives.

The prerequisites of registering is that you must be one of the following:

  • non-governmental organisation (NGO)
  • community-based organisation (CBO)
  • faith-based organisation (FBO).

Do NPOs pay tax? 

However these organisations are “nonprofit”, they do not automatically qualify for tax exemption, the organisations that meet the requirements set out in the Income Tax Act, 1962 must apply for this exemption. Only IF the exemption application has been approved by SARS, the organisation will then be registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) and allocated a unique PBO reference number. 

These organisations can issue section 18A certificates – which allow for tax deduction to parties who make donations to such organisations. This becomes an attraction to donors because they get to enjoy these tax benefits therein by making donations to your organisation. 

As a member of a Public Benefit Company/Organisation, familiarise yourself with the conditions of the section 18A or contact Accase Solutions and we will gladly assist: 

✉️: info@accasesolutions.co.za

☎: 0615238833

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Bookkeeping Guide

Let’s not assume you know, and take it from the top. 

Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions made by a business, this means keeping track of what your business spends and what you receive. The  transactions would be recorded in daybooks, cashbooks, or journals, you can also use a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel.

Do you need a bookkeeper for your business? 

You can either do this by setting up a software, or hire a bookkeeper to keep your books in check. A Bookkeeper’s responsibility is to record, classify, and organize every financial transaction that is made throughout business operations. 

Amongst other reasons, one of the reasons why some startups fail is due to the poor management of money: sole business owners mostly can relate. It gets a bit challenging to separate business finances form personal finances, making it harder to account for some of the money that comes in, and goes out of the business because no one is holding you accountable for anything. This is where bookkeeping comes in. When studied thoroughly, you can see some of your spending habits which you need to change.

3 reasons why you need bookkeeping:

  1. To reflect on whether you are spending more than you make, vise versa. Moreover, bookkeeping enables you to seamlessly analyze your expenses, and adjust your budget, if need be. You will have a record of all your financial information you may need in a case where you want to plan or budget for the future. 
  2. You can curate accurate tax returns. Tax preparation can be a stressful season for small business owners, this is where bookkeeping comes in. Instead of looking through a pile of documents to get the required information, bookkeeping ensures that this information is well organized beforehand.
  3. We have mentioned before, cashflow is one of the struggles small businesses have. Bookkeeping will help you mitigate that challenge by keeping track of the cash going in and out of your business. Having this kind of information will give you the confidence and peace of mind you need to make financial decisions. 

Bookkeeping: How-To

  1. Record your sales (in a cashbook/spreadsheet).
  2. Note down every business-related purchase (keep proof of purchase).
  3. Regularly cross-referencing your business books against your bank statements to check that the transactions and balances match, A.K.A Reconciliation. 

Other things to note…

  1. Accounts receivable, i.e. issuing invoices and making sure they’re paid, and accounts payable, i.e.paying bills on time.
  2. Payroll (paying employees). 


Bookkeeping software

There are many small businesses that use online bookkeeping software to speed up the job, this also cuts down on human data-entry errors and saves time. The benefits of these tools include, but not limited to: automatically pay bills, send automated invoice reminders to people who owe you money, and allow you to check cash flow from your phone. 


Here are 3 softwares you can check out:

1️⃣ Sage 

2️⃣ Xero 

3️⃣ QuickBooks


I’m conclusion…

If you are too much of a busy for bookkeeping for your small business, then you can find someone to do it for you; outsource or hire. We have an article on what’s the best option between the two, again this depends on a number of things. If you wish to get a bookkeeper for your business, look no further: Accase Solutions would love to assist! Reach us here: 

 ✉️: info@accasesolutions.co.za

☎: 0615238833

Can SARS tax you even if your business is not registered?

Can SARS tax you even if your business is not registered?

The answer is YES. If you are running a business that is not registered, you are basically a sole proprietor.


What Is Sole Proprietorship?


A sole proprietorship is defined as a business that is owned and operated by a natural person (individual).

This is considered the simplest form of doing business. It simply means the entity is not legal (registered) and has no existence separate from the owner who is called the proprietor. Although a sole proprietorship can operate under the name of its owner or give a business’ fictitious name, the name does not create a legal entity separate from the sole proprietor owner.


Pros and Cons of Sole Proprietorship


Sole proprietorship obviously has some pros and cons. Here are 3 pros and cons:

Pros:
1️⃣Simple to establish, operate or even discontinue the business.
2️⃣Owner is free to make decisions.
3️⃣Owner receives all the profits.


Cons:
1️⃣The owner is legally liable for all the debts of the business. 
2️⃣​Limited ability to raise capital, which limits the expansion of a business when new capital is required.
3️⃣The owner alone has limited skills, they may need to hire employees with sought-after skills.



What Is Most Tax Efficient?
Sole Proprietorship vs LTD (PTY)

It all boils down to expected earnings from your business.

Individuals are taxed on a sliding scale, which means that the rate of tax you pay increases as your earnings increase. This applies to any individual earning more than R87,300 per tax year.

In a company, profits are taxed at a rate of 28%, irrespective of the value. Plus, dividends tax is levied at 20% on profits retained in the company and distributed as a dividend in the future.

In A Nutshell…

As an individual earns more, you move into the higher tax bracket. The difference in tax between a company and a sole proprietor decreases. At a lower level of taxable income, it’s more tax-efficient to operate as a sole proprietor and enjoy the benefits available to individuals. At higher income brackets, it’s likely that company registration would be more beneficial.

This should help you make a better decision if you were stuck between registering your business and operating it individually. For business registrations and taxes, please do get in touch with us 📲