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.  

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: 20/02/2019 2:12 PM     print this page
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 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.