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How to get inheritance money out of South Africa – what do you need to do?

By August 8, 2023September 27th, 2023FinGlobal

How to get inheritance money out of South Africa – what do you need to do?

August 8, 2023


Recently we unpacked the facts around transferring a South African inheritance to overseas beneficiaries for expats living abroad, in light of a number of updates to exchange control and tax regulations. To shed further light on the topic, we will be discussing a number of related questions that we frequently receive from South African clients living abroad.

South African inheritance law: can I inherit from a South African estate if I live overseas?

Yes, you can inherit from South Africa even if you are living overseas. Receiving a South African inheritance overseas as a non-resident used to be a complicated matter but now that the exchange control regulations have been updated, residents and non-residents are treated the same. This means that when it comes to time to receive your inheritance overseas, the hoops you’ll need to jump through are more straightforward, although still pretty stringent. It’s no longer purely an exchange control matter, and the tax authority (the South African Revenue Service aka SARS) is now involved, but knowing what to expect can make the process less stressful.

Take a look at this infographic to see what you need to know about transferring inheritance money out of South Africa:


Who can transfer a South African inheritance overseas?

Both residents and non-residents can have their South African inheritance money transferred abroad. All that you’ll need is a South African bank account into which the money can be deposited. Once the money has cleared into this account, it can then be transferred out of South Africa through an authorised dealer (i.e., a local commercial bank).

How do you get inheritance money out of South Africa?

South African residents temporarily abroad must use their exchange control allowances. While non-residents are not limited as to how much money they can move out of the country, the amount of the inheritance does dictate the procedures that must be followed.

  • Less than R1 million: can be transferred abroad without prior tax clearance from SARS.
  • More than R1 million, but less than R10 million: apply for an Approval – International Transfer (AIT) Tax Compliance Status (TCS) PIN from.
  • More than R10 million: Apply for an AIT TCS PIN from SARS and obtain approval from the South African Reserve Bank.

Is there an inheritance tax on South African non-resident beneficiaries?

As the beneficiary of a South African inheritance, you will not be expected to pay any tax on the money or assets you inherit. This is covered by estate duty. It has nothing to do with the beneficiaries, and will be handled by the executor of the estate.

FinGlobal: cross-border financial specialists for South Africans abroad

Dealing with a deceased estate can get complicated and frustrating. Getting your inheritance money out of South Africa shouldn’t be. FinGlobal is ready to assist you, every step of the way. From SARS tax clearance, to setting up a non-resident South African bank account on your behalf and handling all of the paperwork to complete the transfer, we can make it straightforward and easy for you to get your hands on your money. To see how to get inheritance money out of South Africa with minimal stress and fuss, leave your contact details below and we’ll be in touch to discuss the process with you.

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