Category Archives: Trusts

Korporatiewe Beheer – ’n Trust as ’n Lid van ’n Beslote Korporasie

Die Wet op Beslote Korporasies No 69 van 1984 (“die Wet”) het voorsiening gemaak vir die oprigting van beslote korporasies wat eenvoudige, gedereguleerde en buigsame entiteite met beperkte aanspreeklikheid is wat veral vir klein ondernemings geskik is. Hulle het eie regspersoonlikheid en geniet die voordele van ewigdurende opvolging.

Die Maatskappywet No 71 van 2008, verbied egter die registrasie van enige nuwe beslote korporasies na 1 Mei 2011. Beslote korporasies kan omgeskakel word na maatskappye, maar maatskappye kan nie meer omgeskakel word na beslote korporasies nie. Reeds bestaande beslote korporasies word egter geadministreer deur die Wet.

’n Beslote korporasie het nie aandeelhouers nie, maar wel lede en aangesien ’n beslote korporasie afsonderlike regspersoonlikheid het, staan dit onafhanklik en verwyderd van sy lede. ’n Beslote korporasie kan uit ’n minimum van een lid tot ’n maksimum van tien lede bestaan. Die beperking op die aantal lede beklemtoon die wetgewer se bedoeling dat die beslote korporasie bedoel was vir kleiner ondernemings, waar die verhouding tussen die lede soortgelyk aan dié van vennote is.

Die Wet stipuleer in Artikel 29 dat slegs natuurlike persone lede mag wees van ’n beslote korporasie. Verder beklemtoon hierdie artikel dat ’n natuurlike of regspersoon in sy of haar kapasiteit as ’n trustee van ’n inter vivos trust ’n lid van ’n beslote korporasie kan wees as daar aan sekere vereistes voldoen word, naamlik:

  • Geen regspersoon mag direk of indirek ’n begunstigde wees van daardie trust nie;
  • Die lid sal dieselfde regsverpligtinge hê tussen homself of haarself en die beslote korporasie as wat ’n natuurlike persoon sou hê;
  • Die beslote korporasie is nie verplig, of het geen verpligting om enige ooreenkoms tussen die trust en die betrokke lid van die korporasie te onderhou of na te kom nie;
  • Indien die aantal natuurlike persone wat geregtig is om enige voordeel van die trust te ontvang, ter enige tyd wanneer hulle by die beslote korporasie gevoeg word, aanleiding gee daartoe dat die aantal lede van die korporasie meer as 10 word, sal die bepalings en voorwaardes waarvoor voorsiening gemaak word in hierdie artikel nie meer langer van toepassing wees nie

Gevolglik sal die volgende persone gemagtig wees om as lede van ’n beslote korporasie te dien:

  1. ’n Natuurlike persoon
  2. ’n Natuurlike of regspersoon in sy of haar hoedanigheid as ’n trustee van ’n testamentêre of inter vivos trust wat as verteenwoordiger van daardie trust optree, behalwe indien:
  • Die persoon ’n begunstigde van die trust is;
  • Die trustee ’n regspersoon is, en direk of indirek beheer word deur enige van die begunstigdes van die trust; en
  • ’n Natuurlike of regspersoon in sy of haar verteenwoordigende kapasiteit, insolvent, oorlede, verstandelik gestremd of andersins onbevoegd is om sy of haar eie sake te bestuur, ’n trustee van sy of haar eie boedel is of ’n administrateur, eksekuteur of kurator van sodanige boedel is.

Onderworpe aan die uitsonderings soos hierbo gestipuleer, mag slegs natuurlike persone lede van ’n beslote korporasie wees en mag geen regspersoon ’n ledebelang in ’n beslote korporasie hou nie. ’n Maatskappy of beslote korporasie kan dus nie ’n lid van ’n beslote korporasie wees nie en enige oortreding van hierdie verbod kan tot gevolg hê dat die regspersoon aanspreeklik sal wees vir sekere skulde van die beslote korporasie. ’n Beslote korporasie mag wel ’n lid van ’n maatskappy of vennootskap wees en ’n beslote korporasie kan selfs die beherende aandeelhouer van ’n maatskappy word.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

Registration of a trust as a taxpayer

The frustration experienced by taxpayers and the complexity of registering a trust as a taxpayer with the South African Revenue Service (SARS), has been widely publicised in recent years. Despite calls from industry bodies for a simplified approach (like companies and individuals), registering a trust as a taxpayer remains an overly complex process.

The inconsistency of information received by taxpayers between the SARS website and different branch offices is one of the areas of major concern. SARS’ website, for example, indicates that either certified or uncertified copies of identity documents are acceptable, whereas branch officers only accept certified copies. Another frustration is requirements that are seemingly not in line with legislation. As an example, SARS requires the appointment, by resolution, of a so-called “main trustee”, whereas the concept of a “main trustee” does not exist in the Trust Property Control Act 57 of 1998. The same act requires that a separate bank account must be used for deposits received by persons in their capacity as trustees of a trust, but SARS seemingly requires some trusts to have bank accounts while not imposing this requirement on others during registration.

Based on recent interactions with SARS, the following guidelines should assist taxpayers in registering trusts as a taxpayer. Although many of the requirements do not seem to agree with what is required by legislation (or sometimes common sense), a call on such formal matters at a branch office will not assist taxpayers and they should rather ensure that the documents below are at hand. All the documents indicated below must be in a certified form:

  • A completed IT77TR form (available on the SARS website);
  • A resolution appointing one of the trustees a “main trustee”. Even if this is indicated in a trust deed, it must be specifically resolved. It is suggested that it is this “main trustee” that represents the trust at the SARS branch office;
  • A resolution authorising the said “main trustee” to sign all documents on behalf of the trust for purposes of registering it as a taxpayer with SARS;
  • Identify documents of all trustees (if you use the new smartcard ID document, ensure that both the front and the back are copied). Note that the trustee doing the registration, must also have their original identity document at the branch;
  • Proof of address for all trustees (ensure that this address on the proof agrees to what is completed on the IT77TR form);
  • Proof of address of the trust. For these purposes, use the CRA01 available on the SARS website to accompany the proof of address. It is suggested that two versions of the CRA01 are completed. One by the “main trustee” and one by a different trustee, since different branch offices require different trustees to complete the form;
  • Proof of banking details. If the bank account is less than one month old, then a letter from the bank confirming that the details are in order. In all other cases, a bank statement is required;
  • The trust deed; and
  • The letter of authority from the Master’s Office.

For good measure it is suggested, if possible, to take all original documents along to the branch as well (only present these if required and ensure it is returned). Also, ensure that a proof of registration and the taxpayer reference number of the trust is obtained after successful registration.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).

The benefits of creating a trust

Trusts are well-known to facilitate effective estate planning and continuity planning strategies. That said, setting up a trust – whether an inter vivos (between the living) or a testamentary (created in a will) − should be carefully considered and not just implemented blindly.

The difference between testamentary and inter vivos trusts

  1. A testamentary trust is established when a person (the founder) makes provision for establishing a trust in their will. The trust does not come into existence until the founder dies.
  2. An inter vivos trust is set up between the living. In other words, property is transferred before death to the trust by its founder and managed by the trustees for the benefit of another person or persons.

The death benefits of creating an inter vivos trust exceeds the cost – both in time and money. According to The Estate Duty Act, upon death, a duty is levied against your estate known as estate duty. The nett value of any estate will be determined by deducting all liabilities from your assets of your estate, both real and deemed.

Should you create a testamentary trust, upon death the assets are in your name and will need to be transferred to the trust posthumously, meaning all assets are taken into account when assessing the duty payable.

Advantages

Taking the above into account, here are some benefits you could experience from creating a trust:

  1. Reducing estate duty: Inter vivos trusts can be used to minimise estate duty. No estate duty should be payable on assets owned by the trust as a trust does not die.
  2. Protection against creditors: As the trust’s assets are not owned by the beneficiaries, creditors do not have a claim on the assets. This advantage is especially important for people who could be exposed to potential liability. Companies as well as individuals are able to transfer assets into trusts.
  3. Efficient succession: Since trusts never die, beneficiaries will be able to continue enjoying the assets if one beneficiary were to pass away.

Disadvantages

Despite the advantages, there are also some disadvantages of having a trust. They include the following:

  1. Costs: The costs of setting up a trust can be high. If assets are transferred into the trust, then transfer duty needs to also be paid.
  2. Duties of trustees: Trustees could find themselves personally liable for losses suffered by the trust if it can be proven that they did not act with care, diligence and skill according to Section 9 of the Trust Property Control Act.

References:

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

So wanneer is ek by magte om as trustee op te tree?

A1_bDie Wet op Beheer van Trustgoedere 57 van 1988 definieer ‘n trustee as “enige persoon (ingesluit die oprigter) wat optree as trustee uit hoofde van ‘n magtiging in terme van Artikel 6.”

In die saak van Lupacchini teen die Minister van Veiligheid en Sekuriteit (16/2010) [2010], ZASCA 108 (17 September 2010), is die posisie van ‘n trustee wat sonder die nodige magtiging opgetree het, oorweeg, waar die trustee regstappe gemagtig het.

‘n Trust wat tot stand kom deur ‘n trustakte is nie ‘n regspersoon nie – maar ‘n spesiale verhouding beskryf deur die skrywers van Honoré’s South African Law of Trusts[1] as “a legal institution in which a person, the trustee, subject to public supervision, holds or administers property separately from his or her own, for the benefit of another person or persons or for the furtherance of a charitable or other purpose.”

Alhoewel die trust eiendom in elke trustee individueel vestig, moet hulle gesamentlik optree, tensy die trustakte anders bepaal. Hulle individuele belange negeer nie die vereiste dat hulle saam moet optree nie.

Die gevolg van ‘n handeling wat in stryd met ‘n statutêre verbod gepleeg is, is al telkemale oorweeg in ander sake, en dit hang af van die behoorlike konstruksie van die wetgewing en die bedoeling van die wetgewer.

Die doel van die wet is om die Meester in staat te stel om toesig oor trustees te kan hou en hulle administrasie van die trust en Artikel 6(1) is essensieel hiervoor, en om die trustees te belet om op te tree alvorens hulle gemagtig is deur die Meester, verseker die wet dat trustees net kan optree as hulle sodanig voldoen aan die wet.

In Kropman NO teen Nysschen[2] is bevind dat ‘n hof die diskresie het om handelinge van ‘n trustee wat sonder die nodige magtiging opgetree het, terugwerkend goed te keur. Hierdie standpunt is met oortuiging in latere sake verwerp.

Locus standi in iudicio” daarenteen is iets anders en is nie afhanklik van die magtiging om op te tree nie, maar hang af of die litigant geag word deur die hof om ‘n genoegsame belang in die litigasie te hou.

Alhoewel Artikel 6(1) ‘n trustee se bevoegdheid om in daardie hoedanigheid op te tree opskort, kan hy of sy ‘n genoegsame belang in die administrasie van die trust hou om locus standi te hê.

Die essensie van die verbiedende frase in artikel 6(1) “… shall act in that capacity only if authorised thereto …”, moet geïnterpreteer word om te bedoel dat ‘n trustee nie voor die Meester se magtiging, enige regte mag bekom vir of kontraktueel verpligtinge aangaan namens, die trust nie en is nie bedoel om die kwessie van locus standi in iudicio te reguleer nie.

Litigasie wat ingestel word deur ongemagtigde trustees en kommersiële transaksies wat die trust bind, is ongeldig en nietig.

[1] 5th ed (2002) by Edwin Cameron with Marius de Waal, Basil Wunsh and Peter Solomon para 1.

[2] 1999 (2) SA 567 (T) at 576F.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)