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.  

Who is responsible for collecting Estate Duty?

SARS is responsible for collecting the Estate Duty.

How do I report a deceased estate to SARS?

Top Tip: Even if Estate Duty is not payable you have to inform SARS that the person is deceased.
An Executor must notify SARS of the death by:

Find out more about how to register a Deceased Estate.

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

To access this page in different languages click on the links below:


Last Updated: 26/02/2020 8:30 AM     print this page
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 Top FAQs

How do I make an Estate Duty payment?
Estate duty payments can only be made via e-filing, there is no EFT option available for it. To make a payment on the Efiling system: 1) Select Additional Payments and then Create Additional Payment

When may an executor distribute an estate?
An executor may only distribute an estate after receiving official confirmation to do so from the Master of the High Court. The Master will only issue such confirmation