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Trusts

THE INCOME TAX RETURN FOR TRUSTS (ITR12T)

What’s New?

  • 8 April 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 re-iterates its stance on the matter and herewith confirms that it will not approve the release of funds vested and distributed to non-resident Trusts.

    SARS is currently investigating other options related to the distribution of funds/amounts to non-residents and is in discussions in this regard. SARS takes note of the fact that the SARB has relaxed certain exchange control requirements but has decided, based on the risks involved, not to approve the release of funds to non-resident Trusts.

    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.  

  • 28 March 2022 – New channel to register a Trust
    SARS has launched an online functionality for the registration of Trusts for Income Tax purposes via the SARS Online Query System (SOQS) on this website. Trustees, representative taxpayers, and registered representatives can now not only register a trust for income tax purposes, but also submit any trust supporting documents online. See some of the background and benefits of this new channel here. In simplifying this process, we have made it easier for taxpayers to have a seamless experience when interacting with SARS in a digital environment rather than visiting a SARS branch for Trust tax registration. Click here to register your Trust for income tax.

    If you need the detail process first before going to the online registration link, you can see the updated Guide on how to use the SARS Online Query System, and scroll to the Trust section.

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 Income Tax Return for Trust (ITR12T). 

How will I get the ITR12T?

The form (ITR12T) will be available on eFiling or may be captured at a SARS branch 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 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 you are encouraged to do so as this will enable you 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 in more than 10 beneficiaries during the year of assessment (“YOA”) must register and submit the ITR12T via eFiling

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Frequently Asked Questions

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