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Can you gift a house to a family member?

You can indeed gift a property, which is different from bequething a property. It’s important to know the differences.

Gifting a property will take the form of a “donation”. SARS taxes donations differently to inheritance.

According to SARS; since 1 March 2018, “donations tax is levied at a rate of 20% on the aggregated value of property donated not exceeding R30 million, and at a rate of 25% on the value exceeding R30 million”.

A property that is bequeathed is instead subject to estate duty, rather than donations tax. Estate duty is levied at 20% on the first R30 million and at a rate of 25% on the dutiable value of the estate above R30 million.

Properties that are bequeathed are exempt from transfer duty. This is not the case with gifted properties, where the family member receiving the property will have to pay transfer duty on a property valued above R1 000 000.

If the current owner of the property chooses to cancel the bond in the process of gifting it, a bond cancellation fee will need to be paid, and the new owner will have to register a bond before transfer of the property can commence.

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