What's New?

21 February 2018 - Estate Duty rate increases from 20% to 25% on dutiable amount of estates of more than R30 million.

What is Estate Duty?

Estate Duty is payable on the estate of every person who dies and whose nett estate is in excess of R3.5 million. It is charged at the rate of 20%.
Estate duty is levied on property of residents and South African property of non-residents less allowable deductions. The duty is levied on the dutiable value of an estate at a rate of 20% on the first R30 million and at a rate of 25% above R30 million. A basic deduction of R3.5 million is allowed in the determination of an estate’s liability for estate duty as well as deductions for liabilities, bequests to public benefit organisations and property accruing to surviving spouses.
SARS introduced estate reform system changes in respect of deceased estates on 9 December 2016, read more.

Who is responsible for collecting Estate Duty?

SARS is responsible for collecting the Estate Duty.

How do I report a deceased estate to SARS?

Even if Estate Duty is not payable you have to inform SARS that the person is deceased.
Copies of the following documents must be sent to SARS:
  • Death certificate or death notice.
  • Identity document of the deceased.
  • Letters of Executorship (J238) (if applicable).
  • Letter of Authority (J170) )(in cases where the estate is less than R250 000).
  • Certified copy of the executor’s identity document.
  • Power of attorney (if applicable).
  • The name, address and contact details of the executor or agent.
  • The last Will and Testament of the deceased.
  • An Inventory of the deceased’s assets.
  • The liquidation and distribution accounts (if  available).

These documents may be sent to the relevant Centralised Processing Centres that is closest to the Master of the High Court where the estate is being administered.

The documents may be sent to the following mailbox facilities:
Alternatively you can post them to:
  • Alberton - Alberton CPO Private Bag X 15 New Redruth 1450
  • Bellville - Bellville CPO P/Bag X 11 Bellville 7535 
  • Doringkloof - Doringkloof CPO Box 436 Pretoria 0001
  • Durban - Durban CPO PO Box 921 Durban 4000
  • Free State – Bloemfontein office – PO Box 313 Bloemfontein 9300
  • East London – P/Bag X9012 East London 5200
  • Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage – PE office – PO Box 345 Port Elizabeth 6000 
Once SARS has coded the taxpayer’s profile as a deceased estate, SARS will issue applicable letters to the executor, advising of what further steps need to be taken.

When is Estate Duty due?

Estate Duty is due within 1 year of date of death or 30 days from date of assessment, if assessment is issued within 1 year of date of death.  Currently, interest is levied at 6% p.a. on late payments. 

Estate duty queries may be directed to:

SARS Call Centre at 0800 00 7277
Last Updated: 21/02/2018 2:16 PM     print this page
SARS eFiling eFiling Login eFiling Register Now eFiling Forgot Password eFiling Forgot Username E@syFile

 Top FAQs

What is Estate Duty?
Estate duty is levied in terms of the Estate Duty Act, 1955, Act 45 of 1955 (the Act) and constitutes a tax which has been levied at a rate of 20% on deceased estates.

What is included in an Estate?
An estate consists of all property of a deceased resident: moveable as well as immovable - including deemed property, such as life-insurance policies and payments from pension funds - whether situated in or outside RSA.

How is the the Dutiable Amount of an Estate determined?
The dutiable amount of a deceased estate represents the sum of all property of the deceased and property which is deemed to be property of the deceased as at date of death,

Who is Liable to Pay Estate Duty?
In general the executor of the deceased estate is liable to pay the estate duty. However, as the estate also comprises property deemed to be property

When must Estate Duty be paid?
Estate duty is payable on the earlier of the date of assessment or 12 months after date of death. Failure to do so will lead to the imposition of interest.