SARS has introduced a new system from October 2012 whereby the transfer of any property will be delayed unless all the parties involved – the buyer, seller and the estate agency – have their tax affairs in order. SARS now requires the transferring attorney to provide the tax numbers of the property buyer and seller and also that of any estate agency involved.
Clearly, SARS want to ensure that the tax returns and payments of everyone involved in a property sale are in order. Previously SARS only checked to see that the tax affairs of property sellers were in order with a view to grabbing the sales proceeds of tax-delinquent sellers. Now SARS may be planning to seize the commission of estate agents with arrear taxes owed and maybe also take an interest in buyers purchasing expensive property who do not have declared income which would make such a purchase feasible.