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Tax guidelines and regulations for large money transfers into South Africa

Mind currency regulations and reporting requirements for transfers to the Rainbow Nation.

Sharing wealth can sometimes mean taking on costs, and occasionally it can even put some of those costs on the person you’re trying to gift to. While South Africa won’t tax a nonresident sending funds into the country, there are still reporting procedures that both you and your recipient need to follow.

How South Africa regulates large remittances

Gifting money to a South African resident is taxable only if the gifter is also a resident. The Donations Tax, which is a gift tax that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) regulates, is paid by the gifter.

If you live outside of South Africa, it’s likely that neither of you are required to pay taxes in South Africa. You’re not completely out of the woods though; you may be taxed in the country you currently reside in, and your recipient still has to declare the amount they receive.

Required forms

To declare the gift you’re giving, your recipient likely needs to list it on their income tax return form.

Your recipient may also need to fill out a Reporting Mandate if you’ve never sent money to them before.

Because tax regulations can change, it’s important for your recipient to check with a local tax professional to make sure all of the proper amounts are reported and forms are filed.

What are the penalties in South Africa if my recipient fails to file?

If your recipient fails to report the gift, they may be hit with an administrative penalty. According to our research, this is a kind of catch-all for many different types of noncompliance issues defined by SARS.

The penalty can cost anywhere from 250 ZAR to 16,000 ZAR a month for each month that the noncompliance continues — this data is from March 25, 2020.

How can my recipient in South Africa get the money?

Your recipient has several options for how they can get the funds you send. Cash pickup, bank deposit and even mobile wallet are available.

Keep in mind that both how you send the funds and how they receive them will affect how much the transfer costs. Check out our guide to learn more about the process and find cash pickup locations in South Africa.

Compare providers for your next large transfer into South Africa

Enter a few different sending amounts into the table below to see how different companies compare for your money transfer to South Africa from the USA.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 60 1 day ZAR 0.00 0.063 USD
3,126
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 2 days ZAR 0.00 0.063 USD
3,126
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour ZAR 2,500.00 0.062 USD
3,122
Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
EUR 8 3 - 5 days EUR 3.00 0.062 USD
3,116
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
USD 2,000 1 day ZAR 0.00 0.063 USD
3,126
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Do I have to report large remittances out of my country?

In short, yes. Most countries require that banks report any and all cash transactions over a certain threshold (in the US it’s $10,000), but even transfers as small as $1,000 may be reported by some transfer specialists. Also keep in mind that sending many small transfers may also be reported.

How much money can I send to South Africa?

Exchange control legislation can limit how much money you can send to South Africa at once. The same legislation limits how much cash can be physically brought into and out of the country.

Outside of legal regulations, banks and transfer services may have their own caps on the maximum amount you can transfer. You’ll need to find a provider without maximums if you want to avoid further limitations.

Bottom line

Sending money to South Africa comes without tax consequences for the recipient, but they’ll still need to declare it on their income taxes. Before you hit send, you can compare money transfer services and learn more about international transfers to find the provider that fits your needs.

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