Recently, Roger Green - the Chairperson of the Conveyancing Committee of the Law Society of South Africa - asked SARS a number of questions concerning the new transfer duty forms.
Essentially the questions and answers read as follows:
Q. It is of concern to us that SARS appears to be of the view that every conveyancer must obtain expensive computer hardware and software in order to comply with the requirements of SARS in the new transfer duty declarations.
A. Changes to forms and computer programmes at this stage are costly, but we will nevertheless make a number of changes. The new transfer duty declarations on the SARS website will be editable and not merely read only. A conveyancer may enter the requisite details on the declarations appearing on his or her computer screen, print out the completed forms and submit them manually. With e-filing, declarations are completed on the e-filing site and then submitted electronically.
Q. Regarding the explanatory notes on TD1, clause 10, which states that where a document is signed on behalf of a conveyancer, it must be signed by a partner of the attorney firm and not in the name of the conveyancer in his personal capacity. What does that mean and when will it apply?
A. It appears that under some circumstances attorneys complete the declarations and pay the transfer duty. A conveyancer merely lodges the transfer documents at a Deeds Office. In these circumstances a partner of the attorneys firm should sign the declarations.
Q. Most documents signed on behalf of a company are signed by a director and not necessarily by the public officer. Presumably it is not mandatory that only a public officer sign on behalf of a company?
A. The notes will be amended to allow any director of a company to sign.
Q. In our common law, the signature of one partner binds a partnership. Why must declarations be signed by not only two partners but by the two most senior partners? Please give an explanation for this.
A. The notes will be amended to allow any partner to sign.
Q. It appears that where the seller is a VAT vendor, form TD5 must be completed in addition to forms TD1 and TD2. Is this correct? If so, it seems unnecessary that much of the information has to be repeated in form TD5. Furthermore, the requirement that form TD5 be signed by both the seller and the purchaser will lead to increased delays as it will be necessary, first to send the document to the one party and thereafter to send it to the other. Please confirm that it will be acceptable to submit two copies of form TD5, one signed by the seller and one signed by the purchaser.
A. Form TD5 replaces the VAT 249 and the need for the Rev 683 and Rev 684 falls away in this situation. Both the buyer and the seller must sign the TD5 - The procedure cannot be changed at this stage.
As a final note, the SARS website will have an updated Transfer Duty Guide placed on it. A section of frequently asked questions (FAQ's) is also being developed and conveyancers are welcome to send any additional questions to Ms Maggs Naidoo