Amended Double Tax Treaty Protocol signed between Cyprus & South Africa

On 1st April 2015 Cyprus and South Africa signed a Protocol which amends the double tax agreement between the two countries (agreement which was signed back in 1997).

There are two changes effected by the Protocol to the treaty, which are the following:

1. The introduction of withholding tax on dividends paid. Up to now, there was no withholding tax on dividends paid by a South Africa company to a Cyprus tax resident company or individual. Under the new provisions there would be:

(i) 5% withholding tax on dividends paid, if the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company holding at least 10% of the capital of the company paying the dividend

(ii) 10% in all other cases

The provisions of this article are retroactive to 1st April 2012, when South Africa introduced domestically the taxation of dividends in the hands of the shareholders.

2. The existing article 26 of the treaty on the Exchange of Information is replaced by the new article, which is in line with the OECD model treaty relevant article