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Can a natural person be a public benefit organisation?

29 October 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: Is it possible for a natural person to register as a public benefit organisation (PBO) in his private capacity?

A: A single individual would not be able to register as a public benefit organisation with SARS.  There are many reasons for that, but we submit that the definition of public benefit organisation in section 30 of the Income Tax Act provides the main reason.  It states in paragraph (a) that a ‘public benefit organisation’ means any organisation—

(a) which is—

(i) a non-profit company as defined in section 1 of the Companies Act or a trust or an association of persons that has been incorporated, formed or established in the Republic…

It therefore allows for an association of persons (who may all be individuals) to be a public benefit organisation.  It is submitted that a single person could not be a public benefit organisation for tax purposes.  

Disclaimer: Nothing in this query and answer should be construed as constituting tax advice or a tax opinion. An expert should be consulted for advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case. Even though great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the answer, SAIT do not accept any responsibility for consequences of decisions taken based on this query and answer. It remains your own responsibility to consult the relevant primary resources when taking a decision.


Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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