Title page for ETD etd-03222012-142727

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Maartens-Dorey, Reinet
URN etd-03222012-142727
Document Title The survival of estate duty as a wealth transfer tax in South Africa
Degree MCom
Department Taxation
Advisor Name Title
Mr K Homeier Supervisor
  • welvaartsoordrag-belasting
  • boedelbelasting wet
  • boedelbelasting
  • boedel
  • capital gains tax
  • wealth tax
  • wealth transfer tax
  • Estate Duty Act
  • estate
  • estate duty
  • welvaartsbelasting
  • kapitaalwinsbelasting
Date 2012-04-16
Availability restricted
Estate duty is currently levied on the estate of a deceased individual in South Africa in terms of the Estate Duty Act. Pursuant to the introduction of Capital Gains Tax in 2001, a deceased estate may also be subject to capital gains tax, as a deemed disposal is triggered on the date of death of the individual.

In the 2010 Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance indicated that death taxes would be reviewed as there is a double taxation effect where capital gains tax and estate duty are levied.

This study aims to set out the most common reasons why death tax and wealth transfer tax have been unpopular worldwide. Whilst such taxes never contribute substantially to any fiscus worldwide, it remains effective and established in economically affluent countries. In South Africa the open question remains as to whether estate duty is required to support the fiscal budgets to come.

Literature reviewed, seems to indicate that the existence or the non-existence of similar wealth taxes are politically driven in most countries. The conclusion is that a total abolition is not necessarily the solution in South Africa. Any source of fiscal income would have to be replaced and whilst the current source of estate duty is from the rich, a tax influencing all tax payers e.g. an increase in VAT cannot be justified to replace such contribution from the rich.

Alternatives should be researched with the view to secure sufficient taxes and any alternatives should be compared to the well-established system in place.

AFRIKAANS : Boedelbelasting word tans gehef op die belasbare waarde van ‘n boedel van ‘n afgestorwene in Suid-Afrika in terme van die Boedel Belasting Wet. Die bepalings van die Wet op Kapitaalwins Belasting van 2001, kan tot die gevolg lei dat die boedel van ‘n afgestorwene aan Kapitaalwins Belasting onderwerp word en ook aan vervreemding van bates vanaf die datum van afsterwe.

In die 2010 begroting het die Minister van Finansies aangedui dat weens hierdie dubbele belasting implikasies van boedelbelasting en Kapitaalwins Belasting by afsterwe, die posisie hersien moet word.

Die studie het ten doel om die mees algemene redes aan te dui waarom belasting gehef as gevolg van dood en ander rykdomoordrag belasting węreldwyd ongewild is. Oor die algemeen maak dusdanige belasting egter nie ‘n groot bydrae aan enige fiskus węreldwyd nie, alhoewel dit bestaan en effektief blyk te wees in die meer eknomiese welvarende lande. In Suid-Afrika is die vraag nog steeds of boedelbelasting nodig is om die fiskale begrotings van die toekoms te ondersteun. Dit is duidelik uit die literatuur wat nagegaan is dat die voortbestaan of nie van rykdomsbelasting sterk polities in meeste lande gedryf word.

Die gevolgtrekking is dat ‘n gehele afskaffing van boedelbelasting nie noodwendig die oplossing vir Suid-Afrika is nie. Enige bron van fiskale inkomste sou vervang moet word terwyl die huidige bron van boedelbelasting van welvarende betalers kom, kan ‘n belasting wat alle belastingbetalers raak, soos byvoorbeeld BTW, nie goedgekeur word om die bydrae van welvarende betalers te vervang nie.

Alternatiewe bronne moet behoorlik nagespoor word met die doel om voldoende belasting in te vorder, en enige alternatiewe moet vergelyk word met die goedgevestigde sisteem wat reeds bestaan.

Copyright 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Maartens-Dorey, R 2011, The survival of estate duty as a wealth transfer tax in South Africa, MCom dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03222012-142727 / >


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