Trevor Emslie SC

Called: 1989

Trevor Emslie SC

Trevor Emslie SC practices as an advocate and advisor exclusively in the field of taxation, covering all taxes including income tax, estate duty, VAT, donations tax and South African tax implications of international transactions.

He has been a Member of the Cape Bar, specialising in tax, since 1989.

Since taking Silk in 2001 he has held several acting appointments as Judge of the High Court of South Africa, Cape Town.

  • Career

    1974 – Registrar to the Hon Mr Justice Margo, High Court, Johannesburg & Pretoria

    1975-1977 Articled clerk, Bowman, Gilfillan & Blacklock, attorneys of Johannesburg [1975-1977]

    1978 – Admitted as Attorney of the High Court of South Africa

    1981-1983 – Tax Consultant, Arthur Young & Company, Cape Town

    1984-1985 – Manager of Tax Department, Ernst & Whinney, Cape Town [1984-1985]

    1986-1988 – Lecturer in Tax, Dept of Accounting, University of Cape Town

    1989-1990 – Senior Lecturer in Tax, Dept of Commercial Law, University of Cape Town

    1989- present – Convenor of the Postgraduate Diploma in Tax Law at UCT

    1991- present – Associate Professor, Dept of Commercial Law, University of Cape Town (part-time since 1994)

    1991-1992 – Visiting Fellow, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge

    1992-1994 – Head of Dept of Commercial Law, University of Cape Town

  • Cases

    SCA = Supreme Court of Appeal, situated in Bloemfontein
    WCC = Western Cape High Court, situated in Cape Town
    * = acted for Revenue, otherwise always for the taxpayer

    MTN International (Mauritius) Ltd v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service (awaiting date for hearing in SCA, heads of argument filed)[income tax: validity of assessment as administrative act]

    Tax Court Case No 13002 2013 Taxpayer 144 [income tax: whether taxpayer carrying on plantation farming operations]

    Tax Court Case No 13003 2013 Taxpayer 93 [income tax: acquisition and disposal of shares, whether proceeds of capital or revenue nature]

    Armgold / Harmony Freegold Joint Venture (Pty) Ltd v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service 2013 (1) SA 353 (SCA) [income tax: set-off of gold mining loss against non-mining income]

    Commissioner, South African Revenue Service v South African Custodial Services Louis Trichardt (Pty) Ltd 2012 (1) SA 522 (SCA) [income tax: South Africa’s first PPP tax case, trading stock]

    Commissioner, South African Revenue Service v De Beers Limited 2012 (5) SA 344 (SCA) [VAT: whether services rendered by Rothschilds in London re delisting of De Beers and taking out of minority shareholders were “imported services” as defined]

    Stellenbosch Farmers Winery Ltd v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service 2012 (5) SA 363 (SCA) * [income tax, capital or revenue nature of compensation received for cancellation of right to distribute certain Scotch whiskies; and VAT: whether or not supply of services zero-rated]

    Commissioner, South African Revenue Service v Van Kets 74 SATC 9 (WCC) [application re request for information by Australian Tax Authority]

    Capstone 556 (Pty) Ltd v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service 2011 (6) SA 65 (WCC) [income tax: interdict application re “pay now, argue later” principle]

    Oceanic Trust Co Ltd NO v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service 74 SATC 127 (WCC) [application for declarator, POEM of Mauritian trust]

    Commissioner, South African Revenue Service v Sprigg Investment 117 CC t/a Global Investments 73 SATC 114 (SCA) [income tax: whether reasons for assessment “adequate”]

    Ernst Bester Trust v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service 2008 (5) SA 279 (SCA) [income tax: sale of sand by farmer, whether proceeds taxable]

    Commissioner, South African Revenue Service v The Abraham Krok Trust 73 SATC 105 (SCA) * [donations tax: whether “ultra vires” award liable to donations tax]

    Stevens v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service 2007 (2) SA 554 (SCA) [income tax: whether ex gratia payment made “in respect of services rendered”]

    Samril Investments (Pty) Ltd v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service 2003 (1) SA 659 (SCA) [income tax: capital or revenue nature of proceeds of sale of sand by farmer]

    Warner Lambert SA (Pty) Ltd v Commissioner, South African Revenue Service 2003 (5) SA 344 (SCA) [income tax: deductibility of social responsibility expenditure incurred by South African subsidiary pursuant to United States Compulsory Anti-Apartheid Act]

    Commissioner, South African Revenue Service v Wyner 2004 (4) SA 311 (SCA) [income tax: whether proceeds of sale of “Clifton bungalow” capital or revenue]

    Commissioner, South African Revenue Service v AA The Motorist Publications (Pty) Ltd 63 SATC 325 (WCC) [income tax: whether publisher’s “work-in-progress” constituted trading stock]

    Ticktin Timbers CC v Commissioner for Inland Revenue 1999 (4) SA 939 (SCA) [income tax: whether interest arising from dividends credited to loan account was deductible]

    Rand Mines (Mining & Services) Ltd v Commissioner for Inland Revenue 1997 (1) SA 427 (SCA) * [income tax: deductibility of cost of management contract]

    Commissioner, South African Revenue Service v Kotze 64 SATC 447 (WCC) [income tax: whether reward from police paid “in respect of services rendered”]

    Commissioner for Inland Revenue v Nussbaum 1996 (4) SA 1156 (SCA) * [income tax: whether taxpayer a sharedealer]

    Sentra-Oes Koöperatief Bpk v Commissioner for Inland Revenue 1995 (3) SA 197 (SCA) * [income tax: deductibility of loss arising from irrecoverable loan]

    Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford v Commissioner for Inland Revenue 1996 (1) SA 1196 (SCA) [income tax: whether receipts or accruals of Oxford University Press exempt]

    Commissioner for Inland Revenue v VRD Investments (Pty) Ltd 1993 (4) SA 330 (WCC) * [income tax: deductibility of cost of buying out competitor to close it down]

    Commissioner for Inland Revenue v Kuttel 1992 (3) SA 242 (SCA) [whether the taxpayer “ordinarily resident” in South Africa]

  • Publications

    Managing editor of The Taxpayer, South Africa’s oldest dedicated tax journal [1990 to present]

    Principal author of Income Tax Cases & Materials [4 editions plus supplements since 1994]

  • Education

    1968 – Matriculated at St Stithians College, Johannesburg

    1969 – 1970 American Field Service Scholarship

    Degrees: BA, LLB, B Com (Hons)(Taxation), MBA

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