'n Ondersoek na die afskaffing van boedelbelasting
De Villiers, Dawid Frederik
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Estate duty in South Africa is levied in terms of the Estate Duty Act since 1955. Estate duty is currently calculated at a flat rate of 20% on the amount of which the net worth of an estate exceeds a primary rebate of R3,5 million. Statistics show that only a small percentage of estates in South Africa is taxable. Furthermore, many estate owners – particularly those whose estates are liable for estate duty – have the financial means to afford estate planning services to reduce estate duty. This reality has the effect that estate duty is paid by a very insignificant number of estates. Similar to estate duty, capital gains tax has the tax incentive of constituting vertical equity – creating the outcome that taxpayers with greater capability to pay taxes should be taxed more severely. Capital gains tax is also a tax payable (among other instances) at the death of an estate owner. This gives rise to double taxation. Further matters that need to be considered are constitutional justification of estate duty and the question whether the categories of current taxable estates correlate with the taxable estates envisaged by the legislator in 1955. In amending fiscal policy, it is useful to consider international trends. In countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada estate duty has been abolished. This phenomenon demonstrates that estate duty is not an essential element of a tax system. The aim of this study is to investigate the contribution of the abolishment of estate duty to South African tax law.
- Law