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SARS IT3(t) – Trustees to supply information as from September 2023

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) published requirements for the reporting of information by trustees about distributions to beneficiaries / persons from trusts in the previous tax year by the end of September of each year. The published document is voluminous and was published on the SARS website during December 2022.

Trustees, as representative taxpayers for trusts, will be required to supply information electronically to SARS by September of each year about all distributions made from a trust to beneficiaries or other persons during the preceding tax year of assessment which ended at the end of February of the same year. A summary of information required can be found on p15 of the 282 page document entitled Business Requirements Specification – IT3 Data Submission (look out for the portions highlighted in blue in the PDF document). Trustees administering less than a maximum number of trusts will be able to submit the required information via the SARS eFiling platform. More than this number of records (the exact number is unknown at this stage, but is expected to be between 20 and 50), will have to be submitted by way of data files. Details about these can be found in the document.

Apart from the information about distributions, demographic information about the trust and beneficiaries are required.

During a meeting between a FISA delegation and SARS earlier this week, it became clear that the question as to who would be regarded as trust beneficiaries remains unanswered. The issue about beneficiaries in a discretionary trust who have never received benefits was raised and SARS undertook to take seriously FISA’s concerns about the consequences arising from the Potgieter v Potgieter judgement.

Concerns about community trusts with hundreds of beneficiaries were also raised with SARS. The FISA delegation also raised the point that it should not be necessary to keep on reporting about the personal details of a single beneficiary in a medical negligence or RAF trust, which will usually be a bewind trust, as this will never change during the existence of the trust.

In general, FISA requested that information already known to SARS should not be required repeatedly and therefore result in an aggravation of the compliance burden placed on trustees. Information already available from the Master’s Office should not be required from the trustee by SARS.

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