The Gupta family wants to move tens of billions out of South Africa to the United Arab Emirates, The Sunday Times reported.
According to the report, the controversial family wants to benefit from a new treaty between South Africa and “the Middle Eastern tax haven without being heavily penalised by local authorities”.
“The Guptas and President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane stand to benefit greatly from the treaty as it means massive tax breaks if they move money from South Africa,” the Sunday Times said.
The treaty states that a resident of the United Arab Emirates will not be taxed on any South African business profits, unless it carries on business through a South African permanent establishment.
Curiously the United Arab Emirates, and therefore Dubai, did not previously have a double taxation treaty with South Africa.
RMB previously explained that this was not surprising, because the UAE does “not impose any meaningful taxes normally covered in a Double Tax Treaty”.
Dubai, often referred to as the Côte D’Azur (French Riviera) of the Middle East, does not levy any taxes on employment or investment income.
“Unsurprisingly it is a magnet for internationally mobile professionals, entrepreneurs and the very wealthy,” RMB said.
Allegations of state capture
Over the last few weeks numerous reports have emerged linking the Gupta family to questionable business deals with the government and state-owned enterprises involving billions of rands.
These reports are based on the “Gupta Leaks” – a collection of between 100,000 and 200,000 emails from members of the Gupta family, and people closely linked with the family.
Reports from the leaked emails linked numerous high-profile politicians and state-owned enterprises including Transnet, Eskom, and SAA to the Gupta family.
Many of the reports focused on very large deals with state-owned enterprises and the government, where the money often flowed out of South Africa to Dubai and India.