The taxation of trust income in South Africa

Master Thesis


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The subject of trusts, even in the particular area of income tax, is vast. Therefore, it is important that I discuss from the outset the outline of my approach in order to give my treatment of the subject under consideration form and direction. And that is what I propose to do briefly here. The discussion consists of five parts. The first of these is the Background which includes definitions and an historical note which I consider to be necessary in view of the largely common law - as opposed to a codified magnus opus 1 - basis of South African law of trusts, where "Other statutes are superimposed, like a ship upon the water, on the common law without replacing it .... The second part also has some historical element, but this is limited to the Taxability of Trusts, qua trusts or legal personae, in income tax law; while the third deals with kinds of Trusts and Their significance. The fourth looks at Income Tax Avoidance Opportunities while the last considers Anti-Avoidance Provisions of the Act 3 Relevant to Trusts, interspersed with one or two examples of schemes not only immune to the specific anti- • avoidance provisions of Section 7 but probably also to the general anti-avoidance provisions of Section 103 (1). Examples will be liberally used for purposes of illustration.