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Trusts and Estate Planning

The first change is not actually a change, but the result of my having finally come around to the fact that trusts must register as taxpayers. Here’s the effect –

  • It is not a simple job any more as we also have to appoint a representative, a process that SARS has made unnecessarily difficult.
  • We charge R2 800 for this registration.
  • Trusts are not automatically provisional taxpayers.
  • Annual tax returns must be submitted despite their being Nils.
  • We charge R720 if there were no distributions.

The next change is the result of the Taxation Laws (Anti Money Laundering and Anti Terrorism Financing) Amendments Act. Here’s the effect –

  • A return must be submitted to the Master of the High Court for every trust reporting details of the “Beneficial owners” of the trust. These are –
    • The founder
    • The trustees
    • All named beneficiaries
    • Anyone else who has effective control of the trust
  • A new return must be submitted whenever any of the information changes.
  • We charge R800 for this return.

So, the additional cost of forming a trust has increased by R3 600, and the annual maintenance cost by R720.


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