Donations Tax

What is it?

A donation is any gratuitous (free or at no charge) disposal of property including any gratuitous waiver or renunciation of a right. If the person (donee) receiving the donation gives anything in return, it is not a donation.

A donation takes effect when all legal formalities for a valid donation have been complied with (section 55(3)).

Donations Tax Rate

For the month of February 2018 and prior months, it is a flat rate of 20%.

From 1 March 2018, donations tax is levied at a rate of 20% on the aggregated value of property donated not exceeding R30 million, and at a rate of 25% on the value exceeding R30 million (section 64(1)). Take note of the following –
  • in determining the R30 million threshold, the aggregate value of property donated commences from 1 March 2018 to date of current donation. Any donations made prior to 1 March 2018 must not be taken into account;
  • the aggregate value of property to determine the R30 million threshold is calculated after deducting any exemptions (s56);
  • where the donor has exceeded the R30 million threshold, all subsequent donations will be taxed at the rate of 25%.


There are four (4) categories of exemptions –

Category One

  • Certain donations are completely exempt from donations tax. 
  • For example, a donation made to a spouse; an approved public benefit organisation; any sphere of government; that is cancelled within six (6) months from the date that it took effect; etc (section 56(1)).

Category Two

  • In the case of a donor who is not a natural person (for example, companies and Trusts), the exemption is limited to casual gifts not exceeding R10 000 per year of assessment (section 56(2)(a)).

Category Three

  • The first R100 000 of property donated in each year of assessment by a natural person is exempt from donations tax (section 56(2)(b)).

Category Four

  • So much of any bona fide contribution made by the donor towards the maintenance of any person. This exemption is limited to what the Commissioner considers reasonable (section 56(2)(c)).

Who is liable for donations tax?

Donations tax applies to any person (for example: individual, company or a Trust) that is a resident. Hence, non-residents are not liable for donations tax.
The person making the donation (donor) is liable to pay the donations tax, however if the donor fails to pay the tax within the payment period the donor and donee are jointly and severally liable (section 59).
The Commissioner may at any time raise an assessment on the donor or donee (or both) for the donations tax.  Including where the Commissioner is satisfied that the full amount of donations tax was not paid, raise an assessment for the difference.  The payment by either the donor or donee will discharge this joint liability (section 60(5)).

What steps must I take?

After making a donation you should complete the donations tax return  (Form IT144 – Declaration by donor / donee) and submit it to your nearest SARS branch together with your proof of payment. 

When should it be paid?

Donations tax must be paid by the end of the month following the month during which the donation takes effect or such longer period as SARS may allow (section 60(1)).

How should it be paid?

Donations tax can only be paid via eFiling. Click here for more information on how to process an additional payment on eFiling. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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