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.