In the most recent budget, the Treasury announced two important tax changes that will have an effect on your estate planning and the cost of estate administration. The most noticeable of the tax changes is the increase in estate duty from March 1 2018 from 20% to 25% for estates of R30m or more. This was one of the proposals recommended by the Davis tax committee. Interestingly, the proposal to increase the primary abatement to R15m for all taxpayers was not implemented by the Treasury. Estate duty is levied on the estates of deceased persons in terms of the Estate Duty Act and applies to all people who are resident in SA at the time of their passing. The Estate Duty Act also applies to nonresidents who have assets in SA, although certain exemptions may apply in cases where SA has signed a double estate duty agreement with other countries. A person’s estate consists of property and deemed property. Property includes actual property (for example, physical property, shares and investm...

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