27 May 2022 – SARS would like to advise representative taxpayers of trusts of their duty to register trusts for income tax purposes.
Trusts are included in the definition of a “person” in terms of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (ITA), and as such the trustees or representative taxpayers have a responsibility to register all trusts for income tax purposes. Trusts that are required to register include all local trusts, non-resident trusts that are effectively managed in the Republic of South Africa as well as non-resident trusts that derive income from a South African source (for further guidance refer to FAQs on the SARS website https://www.sars.gov.za/businesses-and-employers/trusts/).
The representative taxpayers of trusts are the trustees of a trust, but the responsibility to submit the tax return may be conferred on a specific trustee or a tax practitioner. SARS wishes to remind trustees of trusts that they are required to ensure that the tax returns of trusts are submitted. Currently a trust, whether active or dormant, must submit an income tax return on an annual basis in line with the requirements issued annually by the Commissioner (as is required in terms of section 66 of the ITA). For the 2021 year of assessment, the filing season for trusts opened on the 1st of July 2021.
Representative taxpayers of trusts are reminded of the availability of the Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) subject to the requirements thereof, should a trust not be registered for income tax purposes. Details of the VDP are available on the SARS website at https://www.sars.gov.za/legal-counsel/voluntary-disclosure-programme-vdp/. Should representative taxpayers require further assistance, kindly contact the VDP on 0800 864 613 or by e-mail to [email protected].
The representative taxpayers of trusts or their representatives are advised to ensure that all outstanding income tax returns are submitted without delay to avoid further penalties and interest.
SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter reaffirmed SARS’ commitment to provide clarity and certainty to taxpayers so that they can effortlessly fulfil their legal obligations, and trusts are one of the vehicles that are used by taxpayers to operate in a number of ways.
This statement does not replace the actual text of the provisions in the Income Tax Act, 1962, nor the guidance on the SARS website. Taxpayers who require further assistance may refer to our website at www.sars.gov.za.
For more information, contact [email protected]
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