Wealthier taxpayers may not have been hit with a wealth tax in this year's budget, but they will pay more tax. One of the taxes aimed at the wealthy is a higher estate duty rate of 25% on estates of more than R30-million as from March 1. The rate at which estates under R30-million are taxed remains 20%. It is also proposed that donations tax be aligned with the estate duty, so from March 1 a new donations tax rate of 25% will apply to donations above R30-million while donations below this amount that exceed the R100000 exemption will continue to be taxed at 20%. This is to prevent taxpayers simply donating their assets just before they die in order to avoid estate duty. Wealthy taxpayers often use trusts to avoid estate duty, but policymakers have had their sights set on these structures for some time. In March last year, a tax amendment put the brakes on taxpayers using low- or no-interest loans to move assets out of their estates and into trusts at minimal tax rates. This is the f...

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