Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 Budget Speech

New Finance minister Pravin Gordhan has delivered his maiden budget speech.

The 2010 budget speech has come and gone. Like most people, I would agree that it does not make the most interesting reading, but it does affect each and everyone of us.

We have saved all the pain of trying to see what is in store for the year ahead, and hi-lighted the most salient points in the Minister's speech.

From a property perspective, there is no change to current transfer duty rates nor any additional taxes or rebates on property.

Moderate relief on income tax has been granted as well as a small increase in the primary tax rebate to R10,260.00 per annum.

Those who enjoy smoking and drinking however will feel the heat as taxes on cigarettes and alcohol have been increased significantly. A further disappointing item in the budget speech is an increase of 22.5 cents per litre in the fuel tax, a large portion of this going to fill a seemingly bottomless pit that is the Road Accident Fund.

Overall, the budget showed no major reforms, and the additional taxes on fuel with electricity hikes enroute mean that it will be a tough year for South Africans. Wise investing and tight budgeting will be the order of the day.

Mc Naught and Company are fully equipped to advise you on the most tax efficient practices for the coming year as well as to ensure that you are fully protected in any business dealings you may get into.

Book your consultation here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Home owners - Check faults within 24 Hours

Against this backdrop of increasing new homeowners and the fast pace at which property is being built today, many consumers are not taking the time to inspect their new homes during the crucial period of moving in - often to the detriment of their properties long term value.

Many new homeowners often do not know what is expected of them and in turn do not inspect their house correctly during this crucial window period. After making a big financial contribution towards the building process, the last thing that you want is a property that is less than perfect. To ensure that new homeowners fully empower themselves during this process, follow the following tips:

Check all sanitary ware in your new home - particularly your bathrooms. Look for scratches, chipping or discolouration on the bath. A contractor cannot reasonably be held accountable for faults arising after 24hrs of use.

Inspect all glass for cracks and scratches.

Review all floor and wall tiles. Also check splashbacks which are designed to protect walls from grease and cooking splatters, as well as liquid or water splashes from the sink area.

Ensure that the extras you have ordered have been fitted.

Check that all services are operating properly.

Use the provided keys to ensure that all locks are working and ensure that duplicates are handed to you.
Test that all windows and doors operate correctly.

Electrics should also not be ignored. Check your electrical distribution board, test the earth leakage, and distinguish between water cylinders and main electrical switches.

When it comes to the exterior and garden area, keep in mind the following:

Check to make sure that the boundaries are correctly and visibly marked – and that the garden area is clear of all debris.
Verify that all garden soil, paths and driveways adjoining the house are at least 150mm below the damp proof course, which is normally situated at floor level.

If any of the above is not satisfactory you must inform your builder in writing. You may be asked to sign a form stating that you have inspected the work and that everything is in order. This is a reasonable request given that the time to report a crack in a pane of glass, or a chip in the bath, has to be on the date of entry.
Mc Naught and Company, as specialist property attorneys and conveyancers, are able to advise you fully of your rights and obligations in purchasing a new property.