February 2014: e-Filing User Guide for Transfer Duty 2014. Download guide.
6 November: SARS tansfer duty system deadline extended to 30 November 2012
New SARS transfer duty system mandatory from 1 October 2012: Conveyancers urged to register timeously
On 23 August 2012, SARS introduced a modernised transfer duty system. The new system is mandatory from 1 October 2012. Conveyancers are urged to activate the system by updating their details on eFiling well before 1 October 2012. This is to make certain that the correct conveyancer details are on file. The activation process will also ensure that a Transfer Duty Financial Account Number is assigned to each legal entity that registers. This is required for the enablement of the eAccount.
- Click here (PDF 150KB) to download the SARS letter: Transfer duty statement of account
- Click here (PDF – 206KB) to download the SARS letter: Introducing the modern e-transfer duty system.
- Click here to watch the SARS Transfer Duty 2012 video on the LSSA website.
- Click here to access the Transfer Duty section on the SARS website where you can download the Transfer Duty Guide.
LSSA Advisory 7 October 2011: Outstanding Transfer Duty Transactions: Deadline for submission is 18 October 2011
As previously communicated (see below), the South African Revenue Service (SARS) still has a number of transfer duty transactions which they are unable to process due to outstanding support documents.
At a meeting between the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) and SARS, it was agreed that, in order to finalise the said transactions, a deadline for the submission of outstanding supporting documents be set.
Kindly note that any outstanding transfer duty documents must be submitted to SARS by close of business on 18 October 2011. Once the deadline has passed, SARS will proceed to cancel any remaining outstanding transfer duty transactions and conveyancers will then be required to submit new transfer duty applications for the cancelled transactions. All supporting documents must be uploaded via eFiling. Please note that no manual submission of documents will be accepted. Furthermore, where any supporting documents relate to a transfer duty application which was originally submitted manually to SARS, please re-submit the application and upload the supporting documents via eFiling.
As previously indicated, the following reasons may give rise to the request for additional supporting documents:
Invalid Income Tax Reference Numbers;
Invalid VAT Reference Numbers;
Sale price less than purchase price.
Conveyancers are requested to log onto their eFiling profile to confirm whether SARS has requested additional supporting documents. In addition, please constantly monitor the status of your transfer duty transactions on eFiling. SARS has stressed its appreciation to the attorneys’ profession for the cooperation received from the profession towards reaching a mutually productive working relationship.
Important changes to transfer duty process
SARS advisory: 18 July 2011
From feedback received, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has decided to make the following enhancements to the Transfer Duty process:
- All transactions will be now be processed via an automated SARS risk engine and only cases selected by the risk engine will be sent for manual review.
- In order to reduce errors made on the forms which have caused downstream problems, additional validations have been introduced into the form.
- Supporting documents will no longer be mandatory on the submission of a transfer duty declaration. Conveyancers will only need to submit supporting documents when requested to do so by SARS through the Transfer Duty system.
- In order to reduce the number of manual refund requests, payment will only be required once the declaration has been approved or accepted by SARS.
- A Conveyancer will only be able to print the receipt once SARS has confirmed that payment has been received in full in its bank account.
We believe these changes should make a big difference to the service experienced. One of the biggest benefits should be a significant reduction in the turnaround time taken for most transactions.
SARS has introduced enhanced validation measures into the form to ensure that the data provided by the Conveyancer is complete and conforms to the prescribed format. The Conveyancer will also be able to rectify the form should the form not be accurately completed.
Supporting documents will no longer be mandatory on the submission of the declaration. If supporting documents are required, SARS will request the documents from the Conveyancer through eFiling.
The Conveyancer will only be able to make payment once the declaration has been accepted or approved by SARS. This will ensure a much streamlined process where the Conveyancer makes correction to the data provided, if required, and then makes payment of the correct amount.
Once SARS has confirmed receipt of payment in full in their bank account, the Conveyancer will be able to print the receipt on e-filing.
Where no payment is required, the receipt/ exemption certificate will be made available for printing on eFiling once SARS has accepted the declaration.
SARS Advisory 2: 18 July 2011
Further to our earlier communication regarding the new Transfer Duty process that was rolled out today (18 July 2011), we have noted that some Conveyancers are failing to forward applications for authorisation.
In order for a case to progress in the system, under the “Next Action” column, Conveyancers must click on “Submit for Authorisation” once they have completed all the required fields and are satisfied that the submission is ready for processing.
SARS will communicate with you as and when it becomes evident to us that certain steps have not been correctly followed.
LSSA Advisory: 4 July 2011
Since E-filing became compulsory as from 3 January 2011, the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) Property Law Committee had several meetings with SARS to address the practical problems experienced by practitioners. This engagement had lead to the temporary suspension of the implementation of compulsory E-filing until April 2011.
Notwithstanding reassurances by SARS that various initiatives would be implemented to alleviate the problems, including the training of SARS personnel at contact centres, making personnel available at SARS offices to discuss difficult matters with and to adjust the system to accommodate complex and extraordinary transactions, the problems have continued. The LSSA is inundated with complaints by practitioners on a wide range of issues.
It appears that in the majority, run-of–the-mill cases, the E-filing system runs smoothly. However, attorneys are desperately frustrated with the extraordinary cases that get stuck in the system and the inability of SARS to resolve and deal with these complaints effectively. Thus far, the following measures have been implemented following meetings between the LSSA and SARS:
- Transfer duty counters have now been implemented in each of the following SARS offices, where practitioners can discuss problems with the dedicated consultant: Rissik Street, Randburg, Pretoria CBD, Polokwane, Nelspruit, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town. A list with the names of dedicated consultants appear below. Practitioners are requested to make an appointment with the consultant. Where there are dedicated desks, enquiries should be made at reception as to where it is situated within the office. If a specific person is mentioned on the list, practitioners can advise reception that they are there to see that person in connection with a transfer duty enquiry. If the dedicated person is unavailable, the branch manager will assign someone else to assist.
Region Office Contact Person Gauteng Rissik Street Annette Fietze /Annatjie van Helsdingen Randburg Karelien Smith Pretoria CBD Shamila Pillay Limpopo Polokwane Salome van Reenen / Alet Grobler Mpumalanga Nelspruit Naomi van Vuuren KwaZulu-Natal Durban Walk in Pietermaritzburg Walk in Western Cape Cape Town Walk in
- A country wide E-filing training seminar campaign was launched on 14 June 2011. These seminars are joint efforts by SARS and the LSSA (LEAD) to provide assistance to practitioners.
- The training of SARS call centre personnel must be improved drastically to cope with the avalanche of enquiries by attorneys. SARS undertook to implement a further tier or level for difficult queries to be escalated to trained and experienced staff to deal with.
- So far the LSSA has channelled numerous reported problem cases to SARS in order to enable them to compile a list of transactions not presently catered for on the system. SARS is dealing with these cases in order to adjust the system to accommodate them. Members can send these cases to the LSSA at ProfessionalAffairs@lssa.org.za for forwarding to SARS for their attention.
- Many problems are being experienced with deceased estate transfers and divorce transactions, with special reference to the provisions of Chief Registrar Circular 14/2000. At the last meeting with SARS, representatives of the Office of the Chief Registrar of Deeds also attended and suggestions were made to expedite and shorten certain forms, including those in respect of servitudes, cancellation of servitudes, multiple property descriptions, sectional title property descriptions, etc. A further circular in this regard will follow shortly and will hopefully provide much needed practical relief.
- SARS is working on a new system to modernise the current TD forms. When implemented, it will no longer be necessary to scan and attach annexures and a much shorter turn-around time is envisaged. The LSSA will have input in the design of the new, single form and has cautioned SARS to first get the current system sorted out, before introducing a more advanced system.
The LSSA is acutely aware of the frustration and problems being experienced by practitioners and of the massive financial implications on the economy, property industry and the conveyancing profession. While the LSSA accepts the technological progress and the need to use electronic modern day systems in cooperation with SARS, the LSSA is seriously concerned with regard to the current situation. The LSSA intends to continue addressing the problems until they have all been resolved. Discussions with SARS will be held on a regular basis and practitioners will be updated with further progress reports.