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Government (quietly) Announces Serious Penalties for Trustees

On 28 November 2022, SARS published a “Third Party Data Submission” notice on its website.  This notice requires trustees of trusts to inform SARS of all distributions made to beneficiaries, in the same way that banks must provide SARS with IT3(b) certificates for interest earned on bank accounts. The system is currently being tested with the formal implementation date set at September of this year.

24 days later, on 22 December 2022, the General Laws Amendment Act 22 of 2022 was promulgated, placing further obligations on trustees to retain and submit specific documentation, including the identity of the trustees and the beneficiaries and information on all service providers (investment advisors, accountants, tax advisors) of the Trust.  Failure to comply can lead to fines of up to R10 million or imprisonment up to 5 years for non-compliance.  Most of these obligations have an effective date of 1 April 2023.

This will bring about significant change to how trustees, beneficiaries, and trust administrators operate.  Trusts remain one of the best vehicles to protect and to preserve wealth in South Africa, on condition that all legal requirements are understood and met.

We have partnered with Phia van der Spuy to perform legal, tax and compliance audits on trusts and to advise you of all the steps required to protect you as trustee, beneficiary and trust administrator.  Phia is a Chartered Accountant with a Master’s degree in Tax, a registered Fiduciary Practitioner, a Chartered Tax Adviser, a Trust and Estate Practitioner and the author of the book “Demystifying Trusts in South Africa”.

We have put together an all-inclusive package to perform trust audits and to provide recommendations and advice to trustees, beneficiaries and trust administrators at a price of R6 900 (inclusive of VAT).  To start the process, email a copy of the Trust Deed (and any older versions of the Trust Deed) and a copy of the latest Letters of Authority issued by the Master of the High Court to stefan@minitzers.co.za.

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