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Trusts and Estate Planning

I have been wrong all this time!

The answer is yes, a trust must register as a taxpayer even though it will never receive taxable income.

I dug this up while referencing my upcoming book 16 Steps to Tax Wisdom.

Here’s why –

s67 Registration as taxpayer.—(1)Every person who at any time becomes liable for any normal tax or who becomes liable to submit any return contemplated in section 66 must apply to the Commissioner to be registered as a taxpayer in accordance with Chapter 3 of the Tax Administration Act

s66 Notice by Commissioner requiring returns for assessment of normal tax under this Act.—(1) The Commissioner must annually give public notice of the persons who are required by the Commissioner to furnish returns for the assessment of normal tax within the period prescribed in that notice.

Extract from the 2022 public notice

  1. Persons who must submit an income tax return

The following persons must submit an income tax return:

(b) Every trust that was a resident during the 2022 year of assessment;

Ouch! I am going to have to register all the trusts of which I am the Independent Professional Trustee and do all the nil tax returns up to and including 2022 at no charge.

If yours is one of them, I will be contacting you directly.


  1. Dear Derek.
    Thank you for linking me to the read. I am slowly reading as bed time read and find your book very informative.
    One thing comes to mind. i have not opened up the banking account as you advise to do.
    We are changing to legacy trust anyway so will that help.

    1. Hi Ticko,
      You only need to have opened a bank account to deposit the R100 donation that all attorneys and accountants put into their trust deed. I formed the trust for you and you donated a book collection so there’s no obligation (and no point) in opening a bank account.

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