The South African Revenue Services (SARS) held a workshop with six representatives from FISA with the aim to find joint solutions when dealing with deceased estates. The following steps in the process were discussed:
a. Coding of an estate
- A Death Certificate has to be e-mailed to SARS to change the status of the individual’s tax profile to estate late.
- It is not a requirement to send the Letters of Executorship at this stage
- SARS will send a letter to confirm that the status has been changed
Note: members are encouraged not to go to a SARS branch to code estates but rather to e-mail as contact needs to be limited.
b. Tax Type Transfer
- Fiduciary- and Tax Practitioners are experiencing many challenges during this step and SARS is looking into the matter
- Feedback / recommendations to be provided by SARS
c. Changing of banking details
- System has been updated to allow the change of banking details for deceased estates (one of the exceptions)
- Front end of e-Filing system often reflects the status of the bank account as not verified although it may already have been verified by SARS with the banks
- By the time that the refund is payable, the bank account will be reflecting as verified
d. Deceased Estate Compliance (DEC) Letters
- Most Practitioners are not experiencing problems with DEC Letters
- Practitioners may escalate when there are at least 2 previous case numbers
- Provide income tax / estate number, short description of events and e-mail trail
- Turnaround time 7 – 14 working days
f. Register an individual who was not registered as a tax payer at death
- Register a tax payer under ORGANISATION and do not register a new eFiling user.
SARS requested that their Contact Centre be provided with a copy of the Liquidation and Distribution Account once available. Two copies can still be lodged with the Master of the High Court as per the current arrangement, but a copy should be e-mailed to them as well as it may expedite the process.
There is an updated FAQ dealing with deceased estates on the SARS website.