Maryna holds the BA, LLB, LLM degrees and is a Director at the Cape Town offices of STBB. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public and Conveyancer with many years of experience in the field of property law and conveyancing. She is also the firm's Marketing Director and attends to external publications for the firm as well as conducts ongoing training for estate agent and bankers training and is a regular seminar presenter for attorneys and property practitioners.

Thought of the Week | Transfer Duty and Divorce

Where a divorce settlement agreement provides that a spouse will acquire sole ownership in the whole or a portion of property registered in the name of his or her divorced spouse, the transaction is exempt from transfer duty. Does it make a difference if this property was registered in the name of an entity? Yes, as the exemption applies only where the spouse held sole ownership in his or her personal capacity.

Thus, for example, where a property was registered in the name of a trust and was made over to a divorced spouse in terms of a settlement agreement, transfer duty is payable. Remember further that from SARS’s point of view, the ‘transaction’ occurred on the date of the divorce order, and the receiving spouse must pay the transfer duty within 6 months after that date, failing which a penalty on the outstanding amount becomes payable.