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trust services

Understanding Trusts

An essential characteristic of trust services is the registration with the Master within the area jurisdiction, which is determined by location of the largest portion of assets. Should the Trust have more than one Master, the responsibility will lie with the office in which the Trust was first registered.

Since they are required to register all trusts, Masters require confirmation of a Trust’s termination through official deregistration. While there are no legal provisions in the Trust Property Control Act to force the deregistration of a Trust, this process is a crucial task to ease internal administration for the management of trust files within the Masters’ office.

Terminating Trusts

Trusts may be legally terminated once their objectives are fulfilled by destruction of property or renunciation by the beneficiary. Upon termination, the Master will be tasked with Trust deregistration, which will require the trustee to provide certain documentation.

The following information is needed:

  • The reasoning for termination, including a signed resolution by the trustee. This resolution must identify whether the Trust was active or dormant and whether or not a bank account was opened in the Trust’s name.
  • The original authority documentation.
  • Bank statements confirming the nil balance of the Trust, a final statement before the closing of the account or a confirmation letter from the bank detailing that the Trust account has been closed.
  • Documentary proof that the beneficiaries have received their benefits.
  • An affidavit confirming that the Trust has been stripped of its assets.

Once these documents have been received and the Master has confirmed that the Trust has been deregistered, they will inform the trustees of the file closure. 

Once the Trust has been deregistered by the Master, a secondary deregistration process is required, this time with SARS, who will require the following to administer the income tax deregistration:

  • A resolution by Trustees confirming the desire to terminate the Trust
  • A copy of letter of authority.
  • The closing bank statement reflecting a nil balance.
  • Proof that the beneficiaries have received their benefits.
  • A copy of the last Annual Financial Statements, reflecting zero assets and zero loan accounts, with the IT34A assessment.

Trust Deregistration

Ensuring a Trust’s termination involves fulfilling various facets of deregistration, including the need to deregister with SARS. Our Trust Services team has the experience and expertise to conclude the SARS deregistration step of overall Trust deregistration.  For more information, reach out to our team.

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