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Transferring your South African inheritance overseas

If you live overseas and are the beneficiary of an inheritance or a trust from within South Africa, we know it can be extremely difficult to send those funds out of South Africa. South African foreign exchange regulations are complex and moving money out of the country requires expert knowledge and understanding. However, with fully regulated legal, financial and tax experts in South Africa, we can make sure you can get access to your bequests no matter where you are in the world.

With us, you can rest assured that you’ll never be tripped up by red tape when transferring money from South Africa. We’ll also always ensure that we get you great exchange rates and exceptional service on every transfer.

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with one of our forex brokers who will be happy to answer any queries you may have about transferring your inheritance from South Africa.

If you’d like immediate help fill in the form at the bottom of this page and we’ll get back to you. You can also continue reading and hopefully this page will answer the questions you have.

 

Inheriting money from overseas as a South African expat

If you are living overseas and you receive an inheritance from a South African estate, you will fall into one of three categories below. Simply click the heading to read more about each case.

1. South African resident temporarily abroad

This means you have not completed formal financial emigration and are considered as a resident “temporarily abroad” by SARS. You are subject to the same tax laws and financial regulations as people living in South Africa.

If this is your situation, you can transfer your funds using your R10 million foreign investment allowance. This requires a tax clearance certificate and your green bar coded South African ID book. We can obtain your tax clearance certificate for you, as well as transfer your foreign investment allowance at the best possible exchange rate and lowest fee.

As a South African living abroad, you should, however, consider the benefits of completing formal financial emigration. By doing this, you can transfer your inheritance funds without being subject to the South African resident exchange control process. Despite a common misconception, financially emigrating does not mean that you relinquish your South African citizenship.

What’s more, financial emigration allows you to access your South African retirement annuities before the age of 55 and, should you have no intention of returning to South Africa, it would tidy up your tax affairs with the SARB and SARS.

Simply fill in our financial emigration questionnaire and we will contact you to begin your complimentary assessment.

Complete the questionnaire

2. You have financially emigrated and are a non-resident of South Africa

The inheritance funds can be transferred to you, provided that you have proof or confirmation of your emigration. This involves providing the South African Reserve Bank with your reference number which you would have received when you originally emigrated. We can assist you should you wish to verify your financial emigration status.

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3. You were never a South African citizen

This is a straightforward process of providing evidence of your non-residence status and transferring your funds overseas. You will then be able to send any South African inheritance out of the country with relative ease.

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Why our clients love our forex service

Great rates

We transfer your money at excellent rates.

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Fully regulated

We are fully compliant with the South African Reserve Bank, Financial Services Conduct Authority and South African Revenue Services.

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No obligation consultations

We offer all prospective clients complimentary no obligation consultations on their personal or business forex needs.

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Expert advice

We always provide a personalised service and all our solutions are tailored to our clients’ needs.

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Let us answer your questions about transferring money

You may have some questions about transferring your hard-earned money, and we understand. You are right to want to know more about our service before you choose to transfer with us.

Below are the answers to the questions we get asked most regularly.

If you still have questions after reading the FAQs below, you can contact our South African based team on +27 (0) 21 657 2153. If you’d rather keep things online, you can email saregistrations@sableinternational.com and we’ll help you out.

1. Once registered, how long does it take to activate my account?

As soon as we have received your compliance documents, your account will be activated within 24-48 hours.

If your remittance request exceeds R1 million, you will need to obtain a tax clearance certificate and provide us with a PIN.

2. How long does a transfer take to be processed?

Once we have received all the necessary documentation associated with the transaction and your funds have cleared in your Investec account, we will quote you a rate for your transfer. The converted funds will be credited to your nominated overseas account within two to three working days.

3. What are the minimum and maximum amounts that can be transferred?

Our minimum transfer amount is R100,000 to be able to benefit from our services. As a South African ID book holder, you are able to remit R1 million under your discretionary allowance and an additional R10 million per year with the aid of a tax clearance certificate for foreign investment.

If you are a South African non-resident (this means that you have never been issued with a South African ID book or ID number) there is no limit to the funds that you may remit from South Africa, provided that you can prove the source of the funds. Please contact us on saregistrations@sableinternational.com for more information.

There are certain benefits to sending larger amounts. To find out more about the benefits of sending larger amounts pop us an email, or give us a call, and tell us how much you’d like to send, and we’ll walk you through the currency conversion process.

4. What methods of payment can I use to transfer the funds to your account?

We accept internet banking payments. You will be supplied with a bank account in your own name to which you will transfer the funds. Proof of payment must be emailed to us at saforex@sableinternational.com, so that we can confirm receipt of payment and allocate your funds for transfer.

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5. Are there any hidden charges or receiving bank charges?

Not at all. Our transfers carry a shared swift fee of R250, which ensures that only the South African bank charges are paid. When the funds clear in your recipient account the intermediary and receiving bank may charge a bank fee to depending on whom you bank with and this is generally £15. Alternatively, we charge R450 to ensure all bank fees are paid.

6. What are the requirements of a registered Money Service Business?

The law requires us to monitor any unusual or suspicious transactions of any size taking place where we have reason to believe the money is derived from illegal activity. We will report any suspicious international money transfers to the authorities.

The law also requires us to keep full records of all transactions, together with copies of identification provided. We are unable to process any transaction where this information is withheld. Proof of address and proof of funds may be required in certain cases – please see our “know your customer” guidelines for more information.

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Fill in your details below and one of our consultants will be in touch as soon as they are able.

In the section "Tell us about your situation", please include the following information:

Do you have a South African ID?

Do you have a SARS tax number?

What Rand amount would you like to send?

Are you sending money to your own account or a third-party account?

Compliance and regulations


Our forex service is registered with all of the relevant authorities globally. Sable International is a trading name of Sable International FX Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (Sable International FX [PTY] Limited - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (Sable International FX Pty ltd - AFS License number 335 126). We are registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN in the USA (1st Contact Money Ltd/1st Contact Money Ltd - registration no. 31000174356061). Visit our compliance page.