When a taxpayer disposes of property by way of a donation, a donations tax will be levied on the value of property disposed. This donations tax is levied at a rate of 20% on the value of the property donated and payable to the Commissioner within three months or a period that the SARS Commissioner may allow from the date upon which the donation in question takes effect.
If any property has been disposed of for a consideration that, in the opinion of the Commissioner, is not an adequate consideration, that property is treated as having been disposed of by donation. The donor is liable for the payment of the donations tax. If the donor fails to pay the tax within the prescribed period, the donor and the donee are jointly and severally liable for the tax.
Certain transactions are deemed to be donations, even though the transaction was not concluded as a donation. An example is when a taxpayer disposes of property for a consideration that, in the opinion of the Commissioner, is not an adequate consideration, that property will be deemed as having been disposed of by way of a donation.
Not all donations made by a taxpayer will be subjected to Donations Tax. Donations by a public company are exempt and donations between spouses are also exempt. Donations by individuals, up to R100, 000 are exempt and for juristic persons the exemption is limited to R10, 000 in respect of casual gifts. Donations to public benefit organisations are also exempt from tax up to a maximum of 10% of the donor’s taxable income, provided it can be supported by a receipt or certificate from the P.B.O. in a manner as prescribed by the Income Tax Act.