Are trusts exempt from Dividends Withholding Tax?
No. Only shareholders which are companies are exempt.
Having said that, if company A is a beneficiary of a trust which owns company B and company B declares a dividend, can the dividend flow through the trust to company A using the Conduit Principle thereby avoiding the DWT?
An interesting question. I’m not a tax specialist, but by the way I read s41 and then s1 of the Income Tax Act, in order to be exempt the dividends have to be received by a company which is, either directly or indirectly, a 70% or more shareholder in the company paying the dividend. In my example above company A is only the recipient of the dividend. It is not a shareholder, either directly or indirectly, and therefore, in my view, would not be exempt from DWT.