The Treasury has reacted to reports that SA’s tax treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will help the Gupta family avoid tax, insisting that its purpose was to tackle genuine trade and business needs. While some tax experts have questioned the wisdom of a double tax agreement with countries that have low or zero tax rates, SA has several, including with Mauritius, Qatar, Oman and other countries in the Middle East. The comments follow an article in the Sunday Times which cast doubt on the tax treaty between SA and the UAE and said the treaty would aid the Gupta family in their attempt to shift tens of billions of rand to that country. Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat said on Monday that work on the double tax treaty with the UAE dated back to 2006, preceded the emergence of the Guptas and was overseen by two staunchly anticorrupt finance ministers, Pravin Gordhan and Nhlanhla Nene. The agreement was signed by Nene in November 2015 but only came into force at the...

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