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Learning Centre + FAQs


Understanding Tax-Free Savings accounts


Find out more about the benefits of the FNB Tax-Free Savings Account and how this type of account works.

Learning Centre


No tax to be paid

 

Why should you consider a Tax-Free Savings Account?

With a Tax-Free Savings Account there is no tax to be paid on your savings or investments which includes any interest earned, dividends received or capital gains.

Tax-Free Savings from FNB offers you:

  • Choice - you can choose between a Tax-Free Cash Deposit, Tax-Free Unit Trusts or a Tax-Free Shares Account, based on your saving or investment need.
  • Simplicity and convenience - your account will be linked to your banking profile allowing you to view balances and make contributions.

How it works

  • You are able to contribute a maximum of R33 000 per tax year, and a maximum of R500 000 during your lifetime completely tax free.
  • These limits are governed by legislation and may change. Should you exceed these limits, you will be penalised 40% on contributions above the limits by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). It is your responsibility to monitor and ensure that you do not contribute more than the prescribed limits.
  • You can now move your Tax-Free Savings from other Institutions to FNB Tax-Free Cash or FNB Horizon Series Tax-Free Unit Trusts as of 1 March 2018.
  • A qualifying FNB transactional account is needed to open the FNB Tax-Free Savings Account.
 
 

Tax-Free Transfers


Made easy

In accordance with regulations with effect 1 March 2018, individuals can transfer their Tax-Free Savings between financial institutions. By allowing this, an individual can move his/her Tax-Free Savings from one institution to another without triggering contributions or withdrawals.

For any transfer request (in or out) on the Tax-Free Cash Deposit, please contact 087 736 6688 or send an mail to TFITransfers@fnb.co.za

For any transfer out request on the Tax-Free Shares Account, please contact 087 574 2737 or send an mail to TFSTransfers@fnb.co.za

For any transfer request (in or out) on FNB Horizon Series Tax-Free Unit Trusts, please contact 087 032 7096 or send an mail to FNBWIunittransfers@fnb.co.za

Transfer Request Form

Tax-Free Savings General FAQs


What is meant by a tax year for individuals?

A tax year is different from a calendar year as it starts on the 1st day of March and ends on the last day of February the following year.

What is the tax year contribution limit for an individual?

Currently you are allowed to contribute a maximum of R33 000 each tax year into any Tax-Free Savings Account(s) that you own. This limit is governed by law and may change over time with inflation.

What is the lifetime contribution limit for an individual?

Currently you are allowed to contribute a maximum of R500 000 in your lifetime into any Tax-Free Savings Account(s) that you own. This limit is governed by law and may change over time with inflation.

Is there a restriction on the number of accounts I can hold?

Tax-Free Savings Accounts can be held at one or more qualifying institutions. At FNB you are allowed to hold all Tax-Free Savings Account product choices. You can choose the Tax-Free Cash Deposit, Tax-Free Unit Trusts and the Tax-Free Shares Account. However, contribution limits will not be monitored at a customer level if more than one product choice is selected. It is your responsibility to monitor your annual tax year contribution limit as well as the lifetime limit.

Will current interest exemptions remain?

Yes, current interest exemptions will remain however they will not be increased with inflation.

Can the value of my account exceed R500 000?

Yes, the limits only apply to your contributions. The value of your account (after growth/earnings) may exceed R500 000.

What happens if I contribute more than the prescribed tax year and lifetime limits?

If your contributions are more than the prescribed annual limit per tax year and lifetime limit, you will be liable to pay a penalty of 40% on any contribution amount that is over the prescribed limit.

When will the penalty for an over contribution to the prescribed limits take effect?

The penalty described above will be levied by SARS on assessment for the relevant tax year and will be payable by you.

Who will monitor whether I am contributing more or less than the prescribed limits?

It is your own responsibility to monitor how much you have contributed per tax year and in your lifetime into your Tax-Free Savings Account(s). FNB will not accept contributions into the Tax-Free Cash Deposit, Tax-Free Unit Trusts and Tax-Free Shares Account if they exceed the annual tax year or lifetime limits per account.

How are withdrawals treated on my account?

Withdrawals can be made at anytime, and are tax free. However, no replacements of withdrawals will be allowed. Withdrawals are not allowed into a 3rd party account and must be paid into your qualifying FNB transactional or cheque account. Where applicable, there may be a withdrawal fee for an early withdrawal.

Can I transfer my account?

Any direct transfers between financial institutions or individuals (or estates) to another is not allowed until further notice. Funds withdrawn from a Tax-Free Savings Account and transferred into another Tax-Free Savings Account will be deemed as a contribution, and contribution limits will apply.

Will I have to pay any tax on my account?

No tax will be levied on any of the interest received, dividends earned or the growth of the assets held.

What is the treatment of a Tax-Free Savings Account on your death?

On your death the account will be added to the estate of the taxpayer for purposes of levying estate duty. While it is held in an estate, returns from the account will continue to be exempt from tax. Amounts within an account cannot be transferred to a beneficiary's Tax-Free Savings Account.

Do reinvestments or dividends count as a contribution?

Reinvestments of returns or dividends will not count as contributions as long as they are not withdrawn and reinvested.

Whose responsibility is it to consolidate the account to SARS?

It is your own responsibility to provide SARS with the necessary documentation for assessment.

Will my contributions into the account be monitored?

Contribution limits into the FNB Tax-Free Savings Account will be capped as per annual tax year and lifetime limits. You may contribute into the Tax-Free Cash Deposit, Tax-Free Unit Trusts and Tax-Free Shares Account. It is your responsibility to ensure that you stay within the limits if you hold more than one tax free product across institutions.

Tax-Free Cash Deposit FAQs


What does it cost?

There are no monthly fees payable on the account.

How will interest on my account be calculated?

Interest is calculated daily as per the published rate, and is capitalised monthly into this account. Any interest earned on this account will be tax free.

Am I allowed to withdraw my funds?

Yes, you can withdraw your funds from the account with 32 days' notice at no charge. It is at our discretion to allow withdrawals for notices below 32 days, which will attract a fee as prescribed in terms of 12T of the Income Tax Act, 1962.

Can I deposit money into the account at any time?

Yes, you may make cash and electronic deposits at any time.

Can I redirect my interest?

No, you may not redirect your interest to another account.

Will I attract penalties for stopping contributions?

Stopping your contributions will not incur any penalties.

What will happen if I close my account?

After placing notice, your funds will be transferred into your FNB transactional or cheque account and treated as a withdrawal.

Do I have to contribute monthly?

Monthly contributions are not mandatory, but a scheduled transfer is advised to maximise your tax savings. The minimum accepted scheduled transfer is R100.

Do I have to be an FNB customer to open the Tax-Free Cash Deposit?

Yes, a qualifying FNB transactional or cheque account is required to open the FNB Tax-Free Cash Deposit. This excludes clients with only a Credit Card.

Who can open this account?

The Tax-Free Cash Deposit is only available to individuals.

Tax-Free Unit Trusts FAQs


What does it cost?

You will pay a fixed percentage annually on your investment which is agreed up front and then paid over 12 months.

Am I allowed to withdraw my funds?

Yes, you can withdraw your funds at anytime from the unit trust at no charge, however we do not recommend this until customers' investments have reached full term.

Can I deposit money into the account at any time?

Yes, you may make cash and electronic deposits at any time from R2 000 and more.

Will I attract penalties for stopping contributions?

Stopping your contributions will not incur any penalties.

What will happen if I close my account?

When you opt to close your account you will be required to advise the Bank which account you want us to transfer your funds to and then your funds will be paid over accordingly.

Do I have to contribute monthly?

Monthly contributions are not mandatory.

Can I do additional contributions (adhoc) to regular monthly contributions?

Yes, you can do additional contributions on top of your regular monthly contributions. Your first adhoc lump sum must be at least R5 000 and subsequent adhoc contributions need to exceed R1 999. The minimum monthly scheduled transfer amount is R500.

Who can open this account?

The Tax-Free Unit Trusts are available to individuals.

Will my contributions be monitored?

Contribution limits into the FNB Tax-Free Savings Account will be capped as per the annual tax year and lifetime limits. You may contribute into either a Tax-Free Cash Deposit, Tax-Free Unit Trusts or a Tax-Free Shares Account, however your collective investment amount may not exceed R33 000 per tax year. It is your responsibility to ensure that you stay within the limits if you hold more than one tax free product across institutions.

How long will it take to receive my money when I have requested a disinvestment?

We aim to give customers access to their funds within 48 hours.

Tax-Free Shares FAQs


What is an ETF?

An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is an investment fund that is traded on the stock exchange. It holds assets such as shares, commodities, or bonds and trades close to its net asset value over the course of the trading day. Most ETFs track an index such as a share index or bond index. ETFs are attractive as investments because of their low costs, tax efficiency, and share-like features.

What is the Ashburton Top40 ETF ?

The Ashburton Top40 ETF aims to provide returns linked to the performance of the FTSE/JSE Top40 Index. The ETF tracks the component equities of this index in proportion to the Index weightings. The FTSE/JSE Top 40 index contains the 40 largest shares in terms of market capitalisation listed on the JSE. The Ashburton Top40 ETF pays a quarterly distribution, made up of any dividends or interest earned from the underlying shares.

What is the Ashburton MidCap ETF?

The aim of the Ashburton MidCap ETF is to provide returns linked to the performance of the FTSE/JSE MID CAP Index. The ETF tracks the component equities of the Index in proportion to the Index weightings. The FTSE/JSE Mid Cap index contains the largest 60 companies listed on the JSE that are not included in the FTSE/JSE Top40 Index in terms of market capitalisation. The ETF thus holds the 41st to the 100th largest companies on the JSE in terms of market capitalisation. The Ashburton MidCap ETF pays a quarterly distribution to investors which is made up of any dividends or interest earned from the underlying shares. Do I have to contribute monthly? You have the option of either contributing a monthly amount of R300 or a minimum once-off lump sum of R1 000. You should always consider the cost implications of each option carefully.

What are the costs?

See 'Fees' under 'Shares Option'.

Will my contributions be monitored?

Contribution limits into the FNB Tax-Free Savings Account will be capped as per annual tax year and lifetime limits. You may contribute into either the Tax-Free Cash Deposit or Tax-Free Shares Account. It is your responsibility to ensure that you stay within the limits if you hold more than one tax free.

Can I transfer money out of this account?

In order to transfer money out of this account please contact the call centre on 0875 SHARES (742737). The transfer will be treated as a withdrawal and reported for tax purposes as such.

How long will it take to receive my money after I sell my investment?

After selling your investment you will receive your money as per STRATE rules.

Is there a minimum account balance?

There is no minimum account balance.

Who can open this account?

This account will be available to all South African tax resident natural persons.

How do I know how well my investment is performing?

You can access your Tax-Free Shares Account through Online Banking or through the FNB App.

Do I have to be an FNB customer to open the Tax-Free Shares Account?

Yes, a qualifying FNB transactional or cheque account is required to open the FNB Tax-Free Shares Account.

FAQs for Tax-Free Transfers


When are transfers effective?

You may initiate a transfer into or out of a Tax-Free Savings Account from 1 March 2018.

What is a Transfer Certificate?

A Transfer Certificate is a record of information relating to the Investor and the transfer. When a Financial Institution transfers a Tax-Free Investment, they must provide you and the new Financial Institution (with which you have chosen to invest) with a Tax-Free Savings Account transfer certificate.

Can I do a Tax-Free Savings transfer online myself?

Only valid Financial Institutions will be allowed to transfer directly to another valid Financial Institution on behalf of an Investor. As an Investor, you should not action a transfer in your personal capacity by withdrawing amounts from your Tax-Free Investment savings accounts and depositing that amount into a different product provider, this will be classified as a new contribution.

What is the difference between a Transfer and a Contribution?

A contribution to a tax-free account is any amount that was deposited into your Tax-Free account(s) that did not follow the formal transfers process agreed to by industry. A transfer from or to another Financial Institution will be classified differently to contributions and withdrawals and will not affect your annual or lifetime contributions already utilised.

How is my personal information kept safe?

FNB will only share your personal information that is required to process a transfer once we have validated the information and received your permission to share with the specified Financial Institution. Any Transfer Certificate will also be encrypted when sent from FNB to the other Financial Institution and to you as the customer.

Can I transfer my Tax-Free Savings to another Financial Institution for the benefit of someone else?

No. Tax-Free transfers are only allowed between Financial Institutions for the benefit of the same individual. This means that a parent, for example, cannot transfer his/her own Tax-Free Investment to another account (at any Financial Institution) for the benefit of his/her child.

How do I transfer a minor or dependent's Tax-Free Savings funds?

The standard transfer application form has a section "Acting on behalf of the Investor" that needs to be completed by the Guardian/Person with Power of Attorney.

What documents are required to action a transfer?

An accurately completed Transfer Request form must be submitted to the relevant Tax-Free Transfers team. Visit www.fnb.co.za for more information.

Will my contributions into the account be monitored?

Contribution limits into the FNB Tax-Free Savings Account will be capped as per annual tax year and lifetime limits. You may contribute into the Tax-Free Cash Deposit, Tax-Free Unit Trusts and Tax-Free Shares Account. It is your responsibility to ensure that you stay within the limits if you hold more than one Tax Free product across institutions.

How long does it take to process a valid transfer?

A fully completed and valid transfer request will be completed within 10 business days from the date of receipt. On the Tax-Free Cash Deposit, there is a minimum notice period of 7 days applicable after an instruction to transfer has been loaded. You will be kept informed on the progress of your transfer request by a dedicated team from FNB.

Will I earn any interest during the transfers process?

For Transfers In, FNB will not pay interest on the amount being transferred, until successful completion of the transfer i.e. the funds have been paid into your Tax-Free Savings Account. For Transfers Out, FNB will not be liable for interest on the amount being transferred while it has not been successfully completed by the receiving Institution.

Who may I transfer to?

Any other valid Tax-Free Investment Financial Institution. The transfer of funds must be for the benefit of the same individual at the other institution.

Can I transfer the value of my non-Tax-Free Account to a Tax-Free Savings without having a tax impact?

No. Such a transaction will be classified as a contribution and will impact your annual and lifetime contribution limits.

Will FNB facilitate my transfer request with the new Tax-Free Savings Institution?

Yes, only after FNB has confirmed receipt of a valid and complete Tax-Free Savings transfer application form from you, the Investor.

How will I know when a Tax-Free transfer has been successful?

For Transfers In, FNB will send you a notification once the funds have been allocated to your Tax-Free Account.
For Transfers Out, FNB will notify you once the funds have left your Tax-Free Account. FNB will also email an encrypted transfer certificate once the funds have been debited from your account. The receiving institution should notify you once the funds have been received.

Can I transfer funds to FNB without having a Tax-Free Savings Account with FNB?

For a Transfer In request to be successfully processed, you will need to have an open Tax-Free Savings Account with FNB. Visit www.fnb.co.za to open an account.

How much can I transfer in or out?

Transfers In: FNB will accept any amount to be transferred in. Please note that Product Rules still apply and should your balance in the account after the Transfer In, be less than the minimum account opening balance, you will not earn any interest.
Transfers Out: FNB will transfer out a minimum of R500. Please note that Product Rules still apply and should your balance in the account be less than the minimum account opening balance after the Transfer Out request have been received, FNB will first contact you to amend the amount based on product rules.

What will it cost me to do a transfer?

As an FNB client, you will not incur any costs for transfers IN or OUT. Please refer to the FNB Pricing Guide for the latest pricing on all products.

How will fees be deducted upon transfer, if any?

In accordance with Regulation, fees relating to your Tax-Free Savings account will be deducted from the same account and may not be recovered or diverted to any other FNB account.

Are there any tax implications for a Tax-Free Savings transfer?

There will be no tax implications for a valid Tax-Free Investment transfer between valid Tax-Free Investment institutions.

Will the Tax-Free Transfer affect my annual and lifetime contribution limit?

No, unless you withdraw the funds and deposit them into another Institution in your personal capacity and fail to use the prescribed transfer channels.

Is there a freeze period for applying for transfers during a financial tax year?

Regulation prescribes that a Financial Institution must refuse to transfer any amount in respect of a Tax-Free Savings during the last 10 business days of a tax year. A tax year runs from the first day in March to the last day of February the following year.

Can FNB reject a transfer OUT?

Full Transfer request: FNB may not reject a full transfer OUT but must adhere to a regulatory freeze period.
Partial Transfer request: FNB may reject a partial transfer OUT where the remaining funds in the account do not meet the product rules to remain as an active product.

Can a Financial Institution reject a transfer IN?

Regulation permits a Financial Institution to refuse to accept transfers IN. FNB will communicate with you if any such reason arises.

How many transfers can I do?

Regulation specifies that an Institution may reserve the right to limit the number of transfers to 2 in a tax year.

What information will be provided to the receiving Tax-Free Savings Institution?

When you do a transfer from your Tax-Free Savings Account your current FNB contribution limits will be presented on the transfer certificate and the receiving Tax-Free Savings Institution will incorporate those limits in their system to monitor any future contributions made to them.