Registering as a Trust

A Trust must register with SARS for the taxes that it may be liable for, regardless of whether the Trust has any transactions and/or assets.

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.

How to register for the following taxes

Note – Once a Trust is registered for Income Tax, the trustee will be required to annually submit an Income Tax Return for the Trust. 

  • Provisional Tax – When a Trust meets the definition of a Provisional Taxpayer as per the Fourth Schedule to the Income Tax Act, such Trust must add provisional tax to its portfolio on eFiling. Refer to Provisional Tax for the necessary guidance.
  • Payroll Taxes –
    • Employees’ Tax [Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE)] – The Trust must apply for registration as an employer within 21 business days of becoming an employer.
    • Skills Development Levy (SDL) – Payable at 1% of the total amount paid in salaries to employees (including overtime payments, leave pay, bonuses, commissions and lump sum payments).
    • Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) – Payable at 1% of remuneration paid or payable during the month.
  • Value-Added Tax (VAT) – The Trust must register if an enterprise has taxable supplies, goods or services subject to VAT – in excess of R1 million in any consecutive 12 month period. A Trust making taxable supplies of less than R1 million may voluntarily apply to register for VAT.

  A Trust may also be liable for the following taxes:

  • Donations Tax – Donations tax is levied at a flat rate of 20% on the cumulative value of property donated not exceeding R30 million, and at a rate of 25% on the cumulative value exceeding R30 million (sections 54 to 64 of the Income Tax Act, 1962).
  • Transfer Duty – Payable on a sliding scale based on the value of the property transferred.
  • Securities Transfer Tax (STT) – Levied on the transfer of a security at 0,25% of the taxable amount of the security.

Top Tip: A Trust may be eligible to register as a Tax Exempt Organisation  if certain requirements are met. Refer to Section 10(1)(cN) and Section 30 of the ITA.

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