Common eFiling queries

1. Why am I getting a letter to say that the income tax number is not correct?
The income tax number is checked against the ID number for an individual, or registration number for a juristic entity upon submission. This can also be caused by an individual not having an ID number or who has not yet applied for a new ID number. If you receive the invalid income tax number response, please check all of the above.

2. Who do I capture as the Seller for sale in execution transfers?
Capture the owner of the property as the Seller and in the full name (only 50 characters) field, indicate that the Sheriff was acting as an ‘agent’ in the transaction, e.g. ‘The Sheriff of the High Court of South Africa (Western Cape High Court, Cape Town)’. Sheriff’s commission should be included in Any other consideration.

3. How do I capture the Sellers information when they are deceased?
Capture the Seller information as if they are still alive. Capture either their income tax number or annual income when they were still alive, and in the full name (only 50 characters) field, enter ‘Estate late of…’

4. What should we capture as an annual income for individuals who do not work or are unemployed?
You can capture the spouse allowance, UIF grant or proof of income – affidavit or UIF. They will not be taxed twice on the income declared here.

5. The letter requesting supporting documents asks for a list of documents where applicable, what documents are referred to here?
Please refer to page 6-7 in the External Guide - Transfer Duty. The previous rules (prior to go-live) regarding valuations apply.

Please make sure to read the document as this could also be a request for a correction.

6. Corrections and supporting docs
As per the transfer duty guide: Once a request for correction has been submitted no action must be taken on the previous version, as it will be replaced by the new version.

Users should submit supporting documents before they do a correction. After they have done a correction, they should only submit supporting documents to requests received after the correction.

7. Which additional fields need to be captured for a VAT transaction, e.g. the Developer is a VAT vendor and hence, not liable for Transfer Duty?
In the list of Exemptions available, select Other and capture ‘Act 9(15)’ in the corresponding field on the form to indicate that VAT is payable.

The purpose of this exemption is to prevent the possible double taxation of a transaction. The payment of VAT will therefore take precedence over payment of Transfer Duty where the supplier is a VAT vendor.

Note: The supply of an entire enterprise with all its assets (including any fixed property) as a ‘going concern’ may qualify as a zero-rated taxable supply if all the conditions in Section 11(1)(e) of the VAT Act are met.

8. Difference between Buyer/Seller paying VAT
Sometimes the supply of fixed property may be subject to Transfer Duty even if the Seller is a vendor. For example, the sale of the vendor’s private residence will usually not be for the furtherance of their enterprise and therefore will be subject to Transfer Duty.

When the Buyer and Seller are both VAT vendors, and property being sold is a going concern, then the Buyer and Seller can apply for a zero-rated (VAT) transaction.

Reader Comments:

MARK SCHÄFER 14/02/2013:


R Vise 15/02/2013:

Two questions: 1. How does one handle Sec 45(bis) transactions. No field is given for these transactions. They are not sales or donations or any of the other transactions referred to. 2. On almost every transaction SARS are asking for Estate Agent valuations irrespective of whether the parties are connected persons. Surely this is not correct in view of Sec 5(1)(a) of the Transfer Duty Act?

Krish 15/02/2013:

Question 4 has not been answered. if a seller or buyer is unemployed and we are instructed that their income is zero how does one deal with this - eg low cost sudsidy to purchase a house.

Tanya Hahndiek 15/02/2013:

Thank you - this is very helpful!

Carine Bezuidenhout 15/02/2013:

On all of the estate transfers I receive a message to say that the seller's income tax number is incorrect. They do have a bar coded id and the income tax number is typed from the SARS document. ID and income tax numbers are correct but I still receive this error message. How can it be rectified?

Madaleen Bothma 15/02/2013:

The income tax number is validated against the id number. The most common cause for the invalid income tax number response, is actually that it does not validate against the id number. This will happen if SARS has another id number on the transfer duty system (e.g. if last digits of the id number have changed).

You have three options:

  • The client can contact SARS to confirm that both his income tax number AND his ID number are correct on the transfer duty system.
  • You can complete the transfer duty application with the old number if that is known. You would then lodge a conveyancer’s certificate to explain why the id number on the transfer duty receipt does not match the id number on the deed and other documents.
  • If the id number is not known or there is another problem with the income tax number, you are allowed to specify in the annual income. In the case of an estate transfer that would be the income of the deceased prior to passing away.


G Brits 15/02/2013:

I am doing an estate endorsement. The one spouse died many years ago without an identity document. His wife gave an affidavit to this effect. SARS now insist that they cannot issue a clearance without an ID Doc. for the deceased. Home affairs say they cannot issue an id book to a deceased person. What do i do?

Madaleen Bothma 18/02/2013:

Feedback from SARS regarding Mark Schäfer's comment: There cannot be a dedicated line for Transfer Duty at this time, as the volume of calls are too high for the Transfer Duty specialists to handle. The Transfer Duty specialists are assisting the other call centre staff with Transfer Duty calls as a part of the process of upskilling all the call centre staff with regards to Transfer Duty.


I have immense problems with SARS - I work on developments and every time I apply for a TDR they need estate agent valuations - I am really wasting so much time in trying to get the tdr's asap but without not success - if I want to upload something for their attention I have to ask for revision - this new SARS site is pathetic and time consuming

Madaleen Bothma 21/02/2013:

With regard to the second question by R Vise: The letter requesting supporting documents does state that the documents should be provided where applicable. Submit the same supporting documents as you would have done prior to the new SARS rules going live, i.e. only provide one estate agent valuation if the parties are not connected persons. SARS will respond with a more specific letter if additional supporting documents are required.

Denoon Sampson 21/02/2013:

If we submit a marriage according to Muslim rites, the SARS TDREP wrongfully converts the description, to married out of community of Property. Not only is this insulting and offensive to the Muslim community, but it is unlawful. This apparently is a deliberate decision made by one particular individual at SARS, in defiance of the numerous requests of software vendors that all 8 marriage descriptions pull through on to the TDREP.

Upon divorce, a prior Muslim rites marriage has the consequence of having been a marriage in community of property. If this incorrect description (of an Ante Nuptial Contract) is carried through onto title deeds, the proprietary rights of the owners would be prejudiced. Conveyancers and the Deeds Office will not allow any marriage status to be misrepresented, so we now have a stalemate! We expect SARS to correct their software and documentation as a matter of urgency.

I wonder if SARS realises that it has no basis to simply disregard and override the Deeds Registries Act, which prescribes a rigorous adherence to the common law and the regulations concerning the description of the numerous and significant marital regimes?

Please can our Muslim conveyancers and secretaries comment on this unacceptable SARS manipulation of our legislation and common law.

Dawn Grabe 21/02/2013:

Anybody else having a problem with the fair value ALWAYS having to be more than the selling price? How do you get around it if it is NOT factually correct? SARS website simply "loses"the application and you have to start over. VERY frustrating.

A Browne 22/02/2013:

Using the guidelines on the SARS Website, I submitted an application for a TD refund months ago and it was acknowledged on the dashboard as having been received by SARS. To date no refund has been received. The help desk was contacted and the lady requested I forward her copies of all documents for referral by her to SARS Technical Dept. I did this at the beginning of January 2013. To date no refund, no response and all follow up attempts have been ignored. Added to this, claims for refunds expire after 6 months.

Please help me someone - there are thousands of Rands involved here !!

Joan Wills 22/02/2013:

I work largely with new developments, the developer being a Vat Vendor. The details to be included in the declaration include original purchase price and date of acquisition and I am also being called upon to supply a municipal valuation. Being newly constructed properties there is no previous purchase price or date of acquisition and no municipal valuation. If all fields are not completed the request will not go through to SARS.

How do we overcome this? I have also been asked for Vat Payment undertaking - help desk tells us this is not available on the system and we must get it from the SARS office they of course don't have it.

This system is driving us nuts. Sorry but your help desk don't help.

Sharon Abrahams 22/02/2013:

I have a transfer where there are 4 sellers who have inherited a property. The sellers are married in community of property which marriage is excluded in terms of a testamentary condition. How do i annotate this on the SARS doc as the husband's name's are a requirement as the clients are married in community of property


I agree with Carine Bezuidenhout and Sharon Abrahams

Roger Jenkins` 22/02/2013:

We are an important stakeholder collecting billions of Rands for the fiscus in the process without any recognition. Yet this system was imposed on us to be beta tested by us without any consultation or appreciation for the frustration and delays that have been caused. The filling in of the forms is not user friendly, you can't cut and paste. We have had many identical transactions where some have been accepted and others rejected without any logical explanation.

Get properly experience and qualified programmers to write the programs and work with people like Korbitec and others who have had years of experience in delivering a quality product to their clients.

It really is not rocket science!!!!!

Rhonda Harrower 22/02/2013:

I am attending to the registration of an Amending of a Sectional Plan and there are 3 units involved. Firstly there is no provision for this type of transaction. I completed the TD docs for all 3 units exactly the same. 1 TD Cert has been issued with no problems but the other 2 were sent for "risk evaluation"?? SARS could not advise what risk these matters posed but advised that the "system" randomly selected matters for evaluation and unfortunately it chose 2 of mine.

The one application has been "lost" in cyberspace as the status says "uploaded" & nothing further has happened. All 3 of these transactions are exempt from duty, however I have been informed that the one is to be zero rated and that the property description is incorrect but I have yet to be advised exactly how it is incorrect.

The only change to the property description is the extent. Although the "old system" also didn't provide for these transactions, it issued the TD certs within seconds and same was accepted in the Deeds Office.

How can 3 identical TDs be submitted at the same time yet be treated so differently? I have yet to speak to someone at SARS who can assist me in these matters. Fortunately my one app has been rejected so I can start afresh & will have to do likewise for the lost app. Very frustrating & time consuming

Liz Kobedi 22/02/2013:

To Vise: Sec 45(1) - On Transaction Status tick yes, on the drop down arrow select surviving or divorce 9(1)(i)

Liz Kobedi 22/02/2013:

To Carine Bezuidenhout: Find out if the ID was not lost and a new ID was applied. If it was, SARS still has an old ID on their database. The seller / representative has to inform SARS of the new ID.

T. Tutu 22/02/2013:

I would like to respond to Vise- Sec 45(bis) you need to select normal & tick yes under transaction type thereafter it will give you the drop down list for you to be able to select the correct one that you are looking for.

Liz Kobedi 22/02/2013:

To Dawn Grabe: Put the same amount of purchase price on improvement value

M E CAJEE 22/02/2013:

The SARS form allows a maximum of 30 transferees. I am doing a transfer to 31 transferees in an estate matter. How do I get a transfer duty application done for 31 transferees.

APHSANA YUSUPH 22/02/2013:

When parties are married in foreign countries , and are duly assisted by their spouse , where and how is this transmitted on the transfer duty form .

Yasmine 26/02/2013:

DENOON SAMPSON NDLOVU INC When a client is married according to the laws of another country and you correctly complete the transaction information on Ghostconvey as such the TDREP issued will pull through the marital status as being “married out of community of property”.

This is not always the case! Marriages governed by the laws of Taiwan may follow a different marital regime to those governed by the laws of Germany but on the TDREP all foreign marriages are lumped under one umbrella and assumed to be out of community of property!

Denoon Sampson Ndlovu Inc 26/02/2013:

DENOON SAMPSON NDLOVU INC On request of an amended TDREP after you have corrected an error, SARS will issue an amended document. HOWEVER, when you go to payments screen to pay your Transfer Duty both the original and amended TDREP’s will automatically pull through and reflect on the system under the same reference number!!

This creates confusion as to which one to pay. Once you have actually been advised on which one to pay do not expect your TDR the following day.

On one of our matters - we have logged a query with SARS (who boasts a turnaround time of 48 hours) a week ago and to date we have received no response and no TDR.

Yolandi Coetzee 27/02/2013:

With regards to the problem with the ID numbers and Income Tax number queries by SARS, I just want to advise all:

1. When you get such a letter, you have to ask the CLIENT to phone SARS and confirm which ID number they have on the system, as even though the Client has a new barcoded ID, it might still be the old one on their system - you cannot phone as they will not tell you what the ID on their system is.

2. Then and if the ID is incorrect, the CLIENT must approach a branch with his/her original ID and a COPY and have it rectified - PLEASE NOTE - The CLIENT must tell them that he/she is doing it for TRANSFER DUTY purposes, then the turn around time for the rectification is 5 work days - IF the Client does not say this, THEN the Turn around time is 21 days and more...(the person who assisted me could not even confirm that it was just 21 work days - seems its open ended...

3. THEN you have to DELETE the TD already lodged and submit a NEW ONE as the old one will not work.

I agree with the fact that the new system and not having access to any Transfer Duty consultant at SARS directly is very frustrating and actually unacceptable as the delays I had and are still having on this specific transaction due to SARS (they now cannot even display the Letter to submit supporting documents and open up the tab to upload these documents on the transfer duty work page on this transaction) is causing financial loss to both my clients. Its like they do not want the Transfer duty payable on this transaction.

Tasmiya Khan 01/03/2013:

I agree with Denoon Sampson. Definitely an issue SARS needs to deal with.

LIZETTE VAN ZYL 01/03/2013:

To APHSANA YUSUPH: SARS does not make provision for any other marital status but: Unmarried, micop & out of community of property. I had the same incident whereby it stated on the SARS TD receipt as "mocop". You only lodge a Conveyancer certificate stating your client's correct marital status, as per your Deed and Power of Attorney and you will have no problems at the Deeds Office.

Ken Mustard 04/03/2013:

I am having a similar problem to G Brits. My deceased died in 1953 before ID numbers were allocated. SARS have suggested that Home affairs register the deceased and allocate an ID number. For some odd reason Home Affairs are not that keen on registering someone who died about 60 years ago. We have an impasse.

Madaleen Bothma 04/03/2013:

Regarding Krish Naidoo's question: A SARS trainer has advised that a nominal value will be accepted as the annual income. If the purchase price is high, a nominal annual income and no income tax number will result in requests for supporting documents.

Madaleen Bothma 04/03/2013:

Response to question from Denoon Sampson regarding a marriage according to Muslim rites: SARS only allows for married in community of property, married out of community of property and unmarried. Further notes can be captured in the marital notes field. Please note though that we were advised that this information will only be included on the TDRep if they are married.

Madaleen Bothma 04/03/2013:

Response to question from Joan Wills regarding new developments by developers who are VAT vendors: SARS has confirmed that the original purchase price can be 0 and date of acquisition is optional. GhostConvey has been updated accordingly. SARS advised that the VAT Payment undertaking is not necessary for every application where the developer is a VAT vendor.

They will not request you to provide the undertaking if the VAT vendor is in a good standing with SARS. Clients have said that they sometimes receive the form via email at the same time as the requesting letter. Other times it can be a problem to get the correct form.

Genevieve Wagener 13/03/2013:

I am attending to a transaction where the transferor is transfering his 'share' in the total property into a trust (which will then become the 'owner' of that said 'share'/percentage of ownership). When filling out the Transfer Duty Declaration in the field 'value of property' under the heading 'Valuation of Transaction' should we state the amount quoted in the Deed of Sale or should we adjust the amount to reflect the total property's value in order to receive the correct transfer duty payable on such a transaction? Example: 12.5% share = amount quoted in the Deed of Sale = R250,000.00; OR 12.5% share x 8 = 100% of the property = R2,000,000.00

Nick 29/05/2013:

I am doing a divorce(section 45 (bis)) which was concluded in 1987. SARS requested (1) Letters of Authority (?)(2) Completing the particulars of the former spouse as purchaser on the TD and (3) two valuations as at the date of divorce. Number 1 was sorted out but they insist on 2 and 3. Even after numerous e-mail and calls (I have 3 case numbers). Please !!

Louise Dekker 31/05/2013:

I have submitted a transfer duty transaction for a commercial property sold by public auction. SARS has requested an estate agent valuation. I have a problem understanding how the fair value of the property can be anything else than the value it was sold for on public auction?

HEIDI KING 31/05/2013:

Would someone please respond to G.Brits (15/02/2013 and Ken Mustard (04/03/2013). I am attending to a transfer where the transferor does not have an ID number and died before he was issued with one. The GhostConvey program allows the application without an ID number.  HELP!!!!

Madaleen Bothma 06/06/2013:

In reply to Genevieve Wagner: Share percentage should be captured on the transferor and transferee (12.5%), selling price should be as per Deed of Sale (R250 000) and the improvement value should be for the whole property (R2 000 000). SARS will first calculate the transfer duty on the greater of the two amounts (R2 000 000) and then SARS will work out the 12.5% share of that.

Madaleen Bothma 06/06/2013:

In reply to Marius regarding the mandatory municipal valuation field: We have confirmed that the municipal valuation is not required for all transfers and GhostConvey has been updated accordingly.

Madaleen Bothma 06/06/2013:

In reply to Marius regarding the mandatory municipal valuation field: We have confirmed that the municipal valuation is not required for all transfers and GhostConvey has been updated accordingly.

Madaleen Bothma 06/06/2013:

In reply to Heidi King:

The ID number or Passport number is a SARS requirement if the nature of the person is individual. This was taken up with SARS, but not resolved. Each case needs to be discussed with SARS until they decide how to deal with these applications.

Ronel Crouse 07/06/2013:

When will SARS have a dedicated line for Conveyancing (transfer duty queries), as with the helpline you really have a 50/50 chance of getting somebody that is really able to assist you?

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