Any asset which is attained by an heir to a deceased estate is termed as a ‘capital receipt’ and is not included in the heir’s gross income. Thus, tax is not payable by an heir who receives an inheritance from a deceased estate. Further, an heir to a deceased estate is not liable for payment of Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Any CGT which would be due by the estate is payable before the inheritance is transferred to the beneficiaries. As mentioned above, an asset does not give rise to a capital gain at the time of its inheritance – any capital gain or loss is only worked out once the asset is ultimately sold or disposed of in any other manner.
WHAT IS ESTATE DUTY?
During a person’s lifetime, all one’s income is taxable, that is, up until one’s date of death. After a person’s death, a new taxable entity is formed, which is called an “estate”. Every death must be reported to SARS, even if the estate is not liable for the payment of ‘Estate Duty’.
The estate of a deceased individual is subject to an amount of 20% Estate Duty. This percentage is only imposed once a deduction of R3.5 million against the net value of the estate has been taken into account. To illustrate this, see the worked example below:
Net value of estate: R4 million
Estate duty only dutiable on the amount exceeding: R3.5 million
Amount exceeding R3.5 million: R500 000.00
20% of R500 000.00: R100 000.00
Thus, the executor of the estate will be responsible for paying the amount of R100 000.00 to South African Revenue Service (SARS) in Estate Duty.
Estate Duty is due to SARS within one year of date of death, or 30 days from date of assessment if assessment is issued within one year of date of death. Currently, interest is charged at 6% p.a. on late payments.
Compiled by: Laura Ames
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)