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The amount of money you can take out of South Africa

By July 28, 2015July 25th, 2020Financial emigration

The amount of money you can take out of South Africa

July 28, 2015

It’s the question on everyone’s lips. Well, probably not – but if you’re an expat, we’re sure you want to know how much money you can transfer from South Africa to your new crib.

It’s your money, after all, and it’s only right that you should keep it close to home – wherever that home may be.

Gone for good or back in a jiffy?

The most important question you need to ask yourself is whether you are planning on returning to South African shores or not. While you’re deciding – rest assured that offshore transfer allowances are quite straight forward.

Annual transfer caps are determined by the single discretionary allowance (DA) and the foreign investment allowance (FIA). You will need to be over 18 years, have your green barcoded South African ID and active SARS tax record for these allowances.

For the DA

  • you can transfer R1 million per adult per year
  • no tax clearance is required

For the FIA

  • you can transfer R10 million per adult per year
  • a tax clearance certificate is required

If, however, you decide to leave the green and gold for good (or rather move your gold to greener pastures), financial emigration may be the way to go. If you go this route, the game changes a bit.

As a financial emigrant you’ll be able to transfer:

  • the proceeds of your retirement annuity, even before age 55
  • South African source inheritance
  • the proceeds of assets declared in your emigration application
  • passive income such as rent, dividends, director’s fees, salary for services rendered in South Africa and income from discretionary or vesting trusts
  • proceeds from a third party life policy

The choice, of course, is yours – and comes down to individual circumstances.

Whether for political, financial, personal, logistical or religious reasons – you need to consider your options carefully. Luckily you won’t have to make these decisions blind – FinGlobal has a world’s experience in these matters and can give you the best advice when it comes to moving your money. Let us call you.


  • Albertus Viljoen says:


    Both my wife and I, originally from South Africa, reside in New Zealand but have dual citizenship.

    We haven’t financially emigrated yet.

    We should still have our SARS tax numbers but haven’t paid tax in South Africa for a number of years.

    My wife recently inherited some money, below one million ZAR.

    What is the best, most cost effective way to transfer the money to New Zealand?

    Best regards

  • Holger van der Borg says:

    Hi Byron,

    My wife is living in Cologne, Germany and has inherited some money in SA. How much could she take out in cash, legally, upon her next visit to SA?

    Kind regards

    Holger van der Borg
    Cologne, Germany

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