Once his national service (army prescription) was completed, he joined G Bolingbroke & Co, situated at Duncan Street, Pretoria. Later the name changed to Bolingbroke Van Zyl & Co. Subsequently, the audit practice was sold to Meintjes Vermooten and Partners, which allowed Hugo to focus more on tax and exchange control advice at the time SA evolved into a full democracy.
During May 1993, he completed the first formal emigration (also incorrectly referred to as #financialemigration), and by 2001 he was very active in the cross border space. As SARS introduced the residency basis of taxation, through a management buy-out (MBO) became the sole shareholder in Financial Forum International (Pty) Ltd (FFI). The company later changed the name to TAXFORUM cc (@taxforumcc) and Hugo continued to operate for several years from Charles Street, Pretoria.
From 2003 to 2006, the tax and Exchange Control Amnesty period, Hugo joined the corporate world as an employee of Maitland Trust. In 2007 he returned to his tax practice. In April 2012, Hugo and his spouse relocated to Hermanus joining Cashkows (now FinGlobal) in the mornings. TAXFORUM and his own client base received attention in the afternoons. May 2014, having left Cashkows the couple relocated to Paarl until their 2016 move to De Waterkant Cape Town.
Until today TAXFORUM’s office remains to be in De Waterkant at Inner City by Ideas Cartel (ICIC behind Belugas). @Wegkaner by Hugo van Zyl, assisting #Expats in all time zones, is operated from the couples home in nearby Sea Point. The world got to Zoom because of COVID-19 while Hugo has been using SKYPE, ZOOM, Whereby.com and several other platforms for eMeetings middle of the Cape Town nights.
Hugo has lectured to SA expat, about SA Capital Gains Tax and income tax in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Mauritius. In South Africa, his training stretched from Cape Town to Upington in the North and Durban in the east. His training venues include Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Bloemfontein. Hugo always grins when he shares the story of his Freddy Mercury like appearance at Wembley Stadium, London. Hugo claims to be the first person to travel abroad (London, USA) and after that, all over South Africa, lecturing on SA capital gains tax (CGT). As for SARS, Hugo was indeed the first lecturer educating all SARS offices on CGT. The pre-2001 lectures were done using the pre-launch or first-ever comprehensive CGT Guide (updated by SARS) as his training manual. Can he claim to make the said SARS publication so accessible?
During 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020 Hugo was an active tax specialist and fiduciary panellist at the Tax Indaba. During 2020 he was a guest speaker at the National AGM of FISA, the Fiduciary Institute of South Africa. For SAIT and Tax Faculty there more than seven webinars and a 2016 countrywide roadshow on the then new section 7C tax rules. During one of the trust and section 7C presentations, an attendee walked up and presented him the First Rand Bank offer of employment. Hugo then spent 2016 to 2018, gaining invaluable experience in their Trust and Fiduciary division. When they changed and renamed his role to be part of WIM (wealth and investment management) offering, he decided to return to his tax practice in Cape Town. That is the one service not provided, and Hugo is hugely grateful to his large contingent of intermediaries all having qualified as financial planners, asset or wealth managers.
In 2019/20, all his professional membership bodies, either invited him as a guest speaker or published his tax articles
Hugo also assists Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) as a tax adviser and strategist. Hugo spent many years as national treasurer for both the Association of Round Tables (ARTSA as it was then known) and Chaine des Rôtisseurs Afrique de Sud (www.chaine.co.za).
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