Making money through investing (& NB tax stuff)
24 April 2024Last Updated:24 April 2024

So your friends told you all about the global money app Shyft, and then – as things tend to go – you started seeing Shyft everywhere. On your TV. Your Instagram reels. Your dreams, too. Not being one to let the signs go to waste, you downloaded the app and registered your account. You’ve explored the app (and realised how user friendly it is) and were impressed at all the global share options that are now at your fingertips. Naturally, you bought a few shares in some of your favourite tech companies, but now you’re wondering, what next? To which we say, read on.

What’s the deal with dividends?

If you’ve invested in dividend-paying shares on Shyft, you can look forward to dividend payouts. Dividends are profits that a company distributes to its shareholders or investors. You belong to this category of people post your share purchase.

Dividends can be paid out monthly, quarterly or annually; it’s entirely up to the company how it decides to split the spoils of its success. How you use this money is your choice: you can opt to withdraw it and use it for whatever life need(s) you’re facing, or you can choose to reinvest this money and buy more shares. The latter option tends to be preferred by investors who don’t need to use their dividends now and want to aggressively grow their shareholding either within the same company or other shares of interest.

Remember, you can buy shares at any time, from anywhere – as long as your Shyft app is open and you’ve got your USD, GBP or EUR wallets topped up (depending on the stock market or geography you’re interested in investing in).

Selling your Shyft shares

Investing is a long-haul game; the best way to get the most out of your money is to stay invested. Having said that, there are a number of reasons that may motivate you to dispose of your shares (i.e., sell your shares) – be sure about the decision and that you’re doing it for the right reasons.

If you’re needing to sell your Shyft shares, you can do this easily in the Shyft app. Simply head to “My Portfolio”, which you’ll find under the “Shares” tab. From there, select the shares you’d like to sell. Some information will come up for you to read through and if you’re happy to proceed with the sale, click on “Sell”.

Let’s talk tax

The renowned US statesman and Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, famously said: “Nothing is certain except death and taxes” – and boy, was he right. 

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With Franklin’s words in mind, here are some tax issues to consider in your investing endeavours.

  • US dividends tax 
    If you’ve invested in a US-based company and the company pays a dividend, you – as the beneficial owner of the shares – are required to pay US dividends tax at 15%. This money needs to be paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the US, the counterpart of our South African Revenue Service (SARS). Because convenience is the name of our Shyft game, we take care of this process for you, including the completion of the W-8BEN form. In other words, don’t worry about it! That said, there could be additional tax implications on home soil if you own global shares, so before you hit “buy”, make sure you understand all the ins and outs of the regulations.  
  • Capital gains tax
    Capital gains tax (or CGT) is the tax that you pay when you sell your shares and make a profit. CGT is common across the world and can apply to investments other than shares. For example, if you sell your house for more than you bought it, you may be liable to pay CGT. However, “Not all assets attract CGT, and certain capital gains and losses are disregarded,” according to SARS.

When it comes to tax matters, do consult a qualified practitioner, who can give you the best guidance on how to manage the tax matters of your investment portfolio.

One last thing…

Shyft will provide you the necessary IT3(b) and IT3(c) documents, which outline all your investment-associated income over the tax period, to enable you to file your income tax return (ITR12) to SARS. 

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*The views shared are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. One should always conduct their own research before making a decision and/or seek advice from a professional.