Tax trap

Know your seller - all buyers of immovable property where the purchase price is over R2 million, who know or should have known that the seller is a non-resident, could be held personally liable for CGT. The purchaser will not be liable, however, if the estate agent and the conveyancer knew but failed to tell him, in which case they will be held liable. Because it is sometimes difficult to establish whether a seller is a non-resident, the sale agreement should contain clauses which safeguard one's position, such as:

  • The seller's written warranty as to his/her/its residence status, and
  • Authority for your attorneys to withhold the applicable percentage if there is doubt as to what that residence status is, etc.
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