The purpose or objective of this dissertation was to analyse the current income tax treatment of derivative financial instruments in South Africa. In the context of financial markets, derivative financial instruments are mainly used for hedging and speculation. The dissertation considers whether the current South African Income Tax Act deals with the income taxation of derivatives with respect to gains and losses and the timing of those gains and losses. With regards to the nature of gains and losses arising from derivative transactions, the aspect which was considered is whether gains and losses were of a capital or revenue nature in the context of speculation or hedging. With regards to the timing of gains or losses, the dissertation considers when gains and losses should be brought into taxable income of a taxpayer. The following examples of derivative financial instruments were analysed: cross currency swaps, index options, credit default swaps and contracts for differences (CFDs). These derivatives were analysed with respect to the nature and timing of the gains or losses when hedging or speculating. The impact of the provisions of the Eighth Schedule is also considered with respect to the derivatives mentioned above. Copyright
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2009.