SARS–Transfer Duty Guide

Today, Sars issued a new guide for transfer duty, it replaces the previous issue, Transfer Duty Handbook that was issued in March

The new guide contains a discussion of the application of the Transfer Duty Act 40 of 1949, in respect of transactions involving immovable property such as land, buildings and other real rights in connection with immovable property situated in South Africa. Although fairly comprehensive, the guide does not deal with an analysis of all the legal detail which may sometimes be necessary when dealing with immovable property transactions. However, it has been necessary to include a certain amount of technical and legal terminology in explaining certain concepts which underpin the transfer duty legislation.

Transfer duty (originally referred to as the “40th penny” – because of a 2.5% tax rate at the time) was introduced in Holland in 1598. It was also introduced in the former Dutch colonies of Batavia (in 1623), Surinam (in 1684), Cape of Good Hope (in 1686) and Curaçau (in 1741). Transfer duty is one of the oldest taxes still levied in present-day South Africa and was modelled on the Dutch and Batavian examples.

Most of the SADC countries levy some form of property transfer tax on the acquisition of immovable property (also referred to as fixed property).

Click Here to download the new Transfer Duty Guide (815kb)