Richemont urges action on withholding tax reclaim 

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Richemont says SA shareholders who haven’t reclaimed the Swiss dividend withholding tax they are entitled to need to take the necessary measures for a refund. The luxury goods group paid its dividend for the year to end-June over to holders of its SA depositary receipts late last month. And it said that withholding tax reclaim letters for SA tax residents to get back 20% of the 35% Swiss withholding tax would be emailed by the end of this week.

The group, which has a secondary listing on the JSE, is obliged to retain the Swiss withholding tax, as well as a 5% SA withholding tax for those shareholders who aren’t exempt from dividends tax – including companies and non-residents. This is after SARS increased the tax on dividends from 15% to 20% in 2017.

In a notice yesterday, it said local agent Computershare Investor Services had received refunds from the Swiss Federal Tax Authority for which they had been unable to make payment. It advised depositary receipt holders who had previously made a claim and hadn’t received a refund to contact Computershare. It also said that those qualifying for exemption from the SA tax had to ensure they had filed the relevant exemption forms with their brokers or banks in order to ensure that no SA tax was withheld. The onus is on companies to deduct the withholding tax from the payment to shareholders.

The company said investors could email Computershare at [email protected] or contact its call centre: 0861-100-935.