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Trusts and Estate Planning

It’s not unusual to have a trust or two lying around doing nothing. Especially if you were persuaded to buy three trusts when you really only needed one.

So, I occasionally get asked to quote to de-register a trust.

Here’s my advice.

Distribute all remaining trust assets (if any) to beneficiaries and keep evidence of having done so.

Submit your Beneficial Owner return to the Master. We’re still not confident about how to do this, but it will soon become routine.

Then, forget the trust and ignore SARS.

What will happen?

The trust will gather dust in some Master’s office. If it is registered as a taxpayer, SARS may bleat, but there’s nothing that can be done to force the trustees to submit the Nil returns, and they will not be prejudiced in their personal capacity.

Don’t want to go that route? We charge R9 700 to de-register a trust at the Master’s office and R3 500 to de-register it at SARS. Waste of money!


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