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Long partnership regarded as marriage for tax?

Posted 9 June 2016 under Tax Questions


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Simon says:
8 June 2016 at 17:42

I have been living with a woman as husband and wife for 17 years and see no point in getting officially married. With regard to tax rules such as: tax free gift/donation between spouses and tax rules regarding disposal of residence to spouse on death, apply to me? I have in mind donating money to my partner which she will invest to achieve a tax saving on capital gains as she has small income. She would also be able to donate to my children if required, to take advantage of the R100k tax free amount. Please tell me I don't have to get married!

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TaxTimTaxTim says:
9 June 2016 at 8:31

In 2001 a definition of "spouse" was introduced into the Income Tax Act. In terms of this definition, "spouse" means, in relation to any other person, a person who is the partner of that person:

-in a marriage or customary union recognized in terms of the laws of the Republic;

-in a union recognized as a marriage in accordance with the tenets of any religion; or

-in a same sex or heterosexual union which the Commissioner is satisfied is intended to be permanent.

Therefore based on the information you have provided, it sounds like you would fit into the third point above and that your partner would be classified as your "spouse" without formally getting married :)


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