Clarity is to be provided on the ambit of interest withholding tax by defining the term "interest".
Interest withholding tax (WHT) will commence with effect from 1 March 2015. The term "interest" is not defined in the sections of the Income Tax Act that deal with the WHT. Interest is, however, defined in section 24J, which contains a broad definition as well as various inclusions of amounts that may not otherwise be considered to be interest. There has been uncertainty as to whether the reference in the interest WHT provisions to interest in the source rules results in the interest definition in section 24J becoming applicable to the WHT, thereby broadening the application of the WHT to beyond what would ordinarily be considered to be interest. A definition of "interest" specifically for purposes of the interest WHT will thus be a welcome clarification of the ambit of the WHT.