Property Buyers/Sellers and Budget 2017

Transfer duty rates

A sliver of good news in Budget 2017 was the 20% increase in the transfer duty threshold from R750,000 to R900,000.  That should help both first-time and buy-to-let buyers, and hopefully it will help stimulate the property market overall.  Even for buyers at the high-end of the market, the very fact that transfer duty wasn’t increased is in itself good news.

Have a look at table 1 for details.

Non-resident sellers

If you aren’t resident in South Africa and sell property for over R2m, the buyer has to keep back, and account to SARS for, “withholding tax” at a specified rate.  In some circumstances you can apply for a tax directive to withhold tax at a lower or even zero rate – ask your conveyancer about this.  And if your actual tax liability is in due course assessed at less than the amount withheld, you will be due a refund for the balance.

With the general tax increases applicable from 1 March, the amounts of withholding tax have increased as per table 2.