What’s New?

  • 28 February 2023 – eFiling registration enhancements for Trusts
    During the registration process on eFiling, Non-resident (Foreign) Trusts and Collective Investment Schemes Trust (CIS) are now able to register without the mandatory Trust registration number (as indicated on the Letter of Authority (LOA)).

A dropdown was implemented to allow the user to select the Trust Type first. The following Trust types will still be required to provide a Trust registration number: Inter vivos Trusts, Testamentary Trusts, Estate CGT Trusts and Special Trusts. For more information see the updated Guide on how to Register for eFiling and Manage Your User Profile.

  • 14 February 2023 – Trust Registration Beneficial Owners Details
    In order to comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements, SARS aims to record all beneficial owners of newly registered Trusts.  The Trust Registration query on SARS Online Query System has been enhanced to allow for the capturing of the beneficial owner’s details. For more information, see the updated Guide for the SARS Online Query System.
  • 12 October 2022 – Multiple Trusts registered from one Will/Testament
    Due to the fact that the Master of High Court (MOHC) issues the same number for two or more Trusts formed through a single Will, SARS has introduced a workaround to ensure that these separate Trusts are uniquely identified as a taxpayer. Below is a summary of the process that SARS follows in such an instance:

    For a Trust, where a duplicate (or more) Trust Registration Number from the MOHC is identified:

    • Add a suffix “A” for the duplicate MOHC Trust Registration Number, followed by an increasing numerical value starting with “01”.
      • For example – Trust number (MT14695/2017 by MOHC) allocated to different Trusts
      • Allocate the numbers as follows for entity registration purposes:
        • 1st Trust – MT146952017A01
        • 2nd Trust – MT146952017A02
    • Do no merge the two trusts for income purposes, they are two separate tax entities irrespective of the “Trustee Details”
    • Capture the Trust name as reflected on the Letter of Authority and ensure that the correct trust type is captured
    • Note: A Trust can have more than one beneficiary in a Trust. However, a Trust is a one legal entity and only one trust must be registered irrespective of the number of beneficiaries.

  • 26 August 2022 – Distribution of funds to non-resident Trusts by resident Trusts

    It has been the practice of SARS not to approve the release of funds when resident Trusts make distributions to non-resident Trusts. Following numerous queries in this regard, SARS herewith clarifies its stance on the matter and confirms that it will consider approval for the release of funds/amounts distributed to non-resident Trusts. The process required to obtain the necessary approval is to apply for a manual letter of compliance at SARS.

    SARS takes note of the fact that the SARB has relaxed certain exchange control requirements but has decided, based on the risks involved, to introduce the above mentioned requirement to mitigate the risks.
    This does, however, not preclude a resident Trust from vesting amounts in non-resident individuals and to apply for the relevant approvals, as per the current approved practice.  

  • 23 June 2022 – Trust Filing Season 2022

The filing periods for Trusts are as follows:

    • Trusts that are not registered for Provisional Tax runs from 1 July 2022 to 24 October 2022; and
    • Trusts that are registered for Provisional Tax starts from 1 July 2022 to 23 January 2023.

The representative taxpayer (the trustee(s) of a Trust) or the appointed tax practitioner must file an income tax return for the Trust on an annual basis and during the Trust return filing period to avoid penalties and interest. Use eFiling to submit the Trust return quickly and conveniently.

Form and system changes are being introduced from 24 June 2022, for more detail see Trust Filing Season 2022 changes.

Registering as a Trust

A Trust must register with SARS for the taxes that it may be liable for.  

To register a Trust with SARS, you may:

What is a Trust Return?

The Income Tax Return for Trusts is called the ITR12T. 

How will I get the ITR12T?

The form (ITR12T) will be available on eFiling or may be submitted at a SARS branch and captured by a SARS official on behalf of the representative/Tax Practitioner of the Trust (see section on “How to submit the ITR12T”).  An example of the current ITR12T form is available for downloading. For more information on how to complete the ITR12T, click here.  

Top Tip: Asking for the ITR12T to be posted to you will no longer be an option and Trust returns received via post will be rejected. 

How to submit the ITR12T?

You can submit the ITR12T via the following channels:

  • eFiling: Taxpayers who have not yet registered for eFiling are encouraged to do so as this will enable them to complete and submit the return online in a secure environment.
  • SARS branch: If you are representing a Trust with ten or fewer beneficiaries you have the option to have the ITR12T return captured by an agent at the branch. Please print the return and complete all the required fields prior to visiting the branch. You can download the ITR12T return from eFiling. SARS branches will no longer print the ITR12T.

Any Trust that distributed / vested amounts to more than 10 beneficiaries during the year of assessment (“YOA”) must register and submit the ITR12T via eFiling

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