The tax deductibility of corporate social responsibility expenditure
As a developing country, the South African government struggles to single-handedly carry the financial burden to care for the needs of the public. There is also a need for socio-economic development in order to improve the circumstances and surroundings of the South African society, but Government, on its own is unable to provide the required development. Keeping this in consideration, it is evident that alternative options have to be explored that can offer financial assistance. The research conducted revealed that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an important alternative that must be considered. It does, however, beg the question of how CSR can be implemented to provide this financial assistance? Businesses have a certain amount of economic power and with this power they have a responsibility towards society, but this does not serve as sufficient incentive to encourage businesses to partake in CSR programmes. CSR also offers many advantages to businesses that include financial and other forms of benefit, but it might only be successful if it provides a tax incentive that encourages businesses to partake. The question that arises from this is: To what extent is CSR expenditure tax deductible? Can CSR expenditure be deductible in terms of the general deduction formula, or should new legislation that specifically addresses the problem be implemented? Since the current South African legislation does not efficiently support CSR, it is recommended that CSR expenditure should be made deductible and that specialised legal framework should be brought into place to regulate the CSR programmes of participating businesses.
- Law