SARS has issued a Notice clarifying that all resident Trusts and Qualifying nonresident Trusts are required to register for tax purposes and prepare annual financial statements


With reference to the 2023 year of assessment, paragraph 2 of the Schedule to Notice 3540 published in the Government Gazette on 14 June 2023 deals with persons who have to submit income tax returns.

Paragraph 2(b) requires every Trust that was a resident during the 2023 year of assessment to submit a return. The Trust’s economic activity or state of dormancy has no bearing on the requirement to submit a return. The only requirement is that the Trust is a resident. 

Paragraph 2(c) requires every company, Trust, or other juristic person, which was not a resident during the 2023 year of assessment to submit a return, where the entity: 

    • carried on a trade through a Permanent Establishment in South Africa;
    • derived income from a source in South Africa; or
    • derived any capital gain or capital loss to which the Eighth Schedule to the ITA applies,

SARS is aware of various non-registered Trusts that are so-called dormant or where no income-producing activities are carried out, but that own assets, for example, shares in business entities, primary residences, lifestyle assets, or vacant land. 

SARS is also aware of the fact that many Trusts are not preparing financial statements, for example, in which assets and related settlements, donations, or dispositions by individuals are disclosed.


We urge you to contact our offices urgently to regularise your Trust’s affairs if you are behind with your regulatory requirements. This is even more critical now that the Beneficial Ownership of all Trusts is being updated with the Master.

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