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Transferring money FROM South Africa


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Some of you may still have your South African bank account, investments/income there etc. There may be times when you may need to transfer money from South Africa to Australia (or to other currencies like USD, GBP or Euro).


One of the easiest, legal ways of doing this is via the Shyft app by Standard Bank. More information here: https://getshyft.co.za. It works like this:

1. Download the Shyft app by Standard Bank (iOS or Android).

2. Verify that you are a South African citizen/permanent resident (with a South African ID number). You need to have a South African bank account. Doesn't need to be Standard Bank, although with Standard Bank the verification will be easier.

3. Register in the app for a free Shyft account. This is a virtual account where you can convert and transfer you Rands into AUD, USD, GBP or Euro.

4. Add your Australian (foreign) bank account to your Shyft account as a beneficiary.

5. Transfer your converted funds to your Australian bank account within the app - takes 3-5 days for the transfer to occur.


Points to note:

1. You are legally limited to transferring R1m per person per calendar year by SARS.

2. You pay a live conversion rate. What you see is what you pay. This is how they make their money, but the rates are competitive.

3. The fee to pay a beneficiary is AUD $18 per transaction regardless of the amount being transferred.

4. You can request a physical bank card for the different currencies in your Shyft account. In this way you can use the card as a debit card to withdraw your own funds. eg. if you converted Rands to USD, then got a physical USD bank card, you then use the bank card at any ATM when you are travelling in the USA to withdraw your own funds.


All this is for your own information. I have no vested interest in this nor offer any financial advice.

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Thank you @arabella164


One small correction: 


you wrote:


"You are legally limited to transferring R1m per person per calendar year by SARS."


You probably intended to say you can freely transfer R1m per person per calendar year. 


The correct facts, since 26 Feb 2021 is follow""


SA Reserve Bank (not SARS) will allow you amounts in excess of R10m.


"In this regard, all applications by individuals in excess of the single discretionary allowance threshold [currently R1m per calendar year per individual 18 years or older], will require a Tax Compliance Status (TCS) from the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Private individuals who transfer more than R10 million offshore will be subjected to a more stringent verification process. Such transfers will trigger a risk management test that will, inter alia, include verification of the tax status and the source of funds, as well as risk assess the private individual in terms of the anti-money laundering and countering terror financing requirements, as prescribed in the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (Act No. 38 of 2001).""


What is most important is that financial emigration is no longer of any benefit! 


"Under the new framework, natural person emigrants and natural person residents will be treated identically. The current process of controlling or blocking an emigrant’s remaining assets in a special ‘blocked funds account’ will fall away and all transfers from these accounts will be handled as normal fund transfers in line with any other foreign capital allowance transfer"


and please ensure SARS has your tax residency status correctly recorded to ease transfers 


"The tax residency status will determine how the Financial Surveillance Department treats the residents’ domestic assets, taking into account that sale proceeds and assets of non-residents are freely transferable offshore. In this regard, the externalisation of listed and unlisted domestic securities will be treated similar to cash and will form part of the foreign capital allowance"

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