Invest 12J


Section 12 J Investments Are Fully Tax Deductible!

This website aims to equip potential Section 12J investors with all the information they need to make an informed investment decision and benefit from Section 12J of the Income Tax Act.

For investors with a higher risk appetite, or who have maxed out their Retirement Annuity, Pension Fund and Tax Free Savings Account contributions, a Section 12J Investment into a SARS approved Venture Capital Company (VCC) is the perfect way to allocate capital in a tax free way in order to maximise your tax deductions.

Any investment into a Section 12J Venture Capital Fund is fully tax deductible. This means that if you are in the top tax bracket, SARS is willing to give you up to 45% of your investment back!

Just remember that if you are an individual you need to invest before 28 Feb to enjoy the tax benefit. For investors who find themselves having to quickly identify a Section 12J investment/s, make sure you request the latest fund fact sheet or statement from the Section 12J fund manager and be sure to consider the following key factors:


Performance fees are by far the most overlooked aspect of investing in Section 12J funds and if not understood correctly, investors and advisors may soon realise that their investment is excessively fee rich. Section 12J fund managers are largely incentivised through a performance fee which is paid out at the end of the investment term. Investors should pay particular attention to whether the performance fee is calculated on the growth of the investment only or above "the capital at risk" amount:

  • Gross capital performance fee:
  • This is where a performance fee is earned on any amount above the original investment amount. In other words, if R100 is invested and after 5 years the investment is worth R120, a performance fee would only be charged on the R20 growth;

  • Risk capital performance fee:
  • This is where a performance fee is earned on any amount above the "risk capital" amount (with or without a hurdle). For example, if an investor invests R100, the investor is assumed to have received a tax benefit of R45 and the investor would be charged a performance fee above his/her "risk capital" amount of R55 (R100 less R45). Therefore, if after 5 years the investment is worth R120, a performance fee would be charged on any amount above R55, which is R65 in this example;

    If one ran a simple calculation in a scenario where an investor in the highest tax bracket invests R100 and the investment grows to R120 over 5 years, the gross capital performance fee would be R4 which is 20% of the investor’s profits as opposed to R13 which is 65% of the investor’s profits under a risk capital performance fee. In order to avoid confusion, ask the fund manager to provide a performance fee calculation using the above scenario.

    Risk capital vs Gross capital performance fee

    Gross capital PF Risk capital PF Risk capital PF +h
    Gross investment R100 000 R100 000 R100 000
    Risk capital N/A R55 000 R55 000
    Value post 5 years R120 000 R120 000 R120 000
    Performance fee R4 000 R13 000 (65 000 x 20%) R8 600* (43 000 x 20%)
    Performance fee as
    a % of profits
    20% 65% 43%

    *Assuming a hurdle of 7% pa

    2.Investment/deployment rate

    SARS recently advised that of the R8.3 billion invested in Section 12J funds, only R3.6 billion has been re-invested. The impact of non-deployment has and will have an enormous negative impact on investors’ returns as funds sitting in cash will result in a cash drag, which will likely lead to a negative net asset value or lower than expected returns.

    To ensure that investors’ capital is given an opportunity to grow, investors would be well informed to understand what percentage of capital has been invested into qualifying investments. Even more concerning is that investors in Section 12J funds which have not invested 100% of their capital, will likely be required to hold their investments for longer than expected, due to the investment taking longer to generate the returns anticipated.


    Given the private equity nature of Section 12J investments, investors should know upfront that exiting these investments will take time as generally, the underlying investments would need to be disposed of. Investors should, therefore, look to invest in Section 12J funds which have a clear and realistic exit strategy and that provide the investor with comfort that investment will be exited in the timeframes expected.

    If you are looking to make a Section 12J investment, then attend the 12J Marketplace Conference to be held on 31 Jan 2020. The 12J Marketplace Conference is the largest Section 12J investment event of the year, having attracted over 1200 Section 12J enthusiasts. Click here for a highlights reel from our February 2019 sold-out event.

    The aims of the 12J Marketplace Conference is to introduce wealth managers, financial advisors, accountants, tax/legal advisors, and current/potential 12J investors to over 20 pre-selected Section 12J fund managers. To register, click here and insert promo code “Infinity50%” for a 50% discount