South Africa: Pareto supports unlisted property to enjoy REIT tax status

Marius-Muller-Pareto-CEO
Marius Muller; Pareto CEO

As an unlisted property-owning company, Pareto welcomes the news of Government’s proposal that unlisted property owning companies should qualify for the same tax treatment as listed REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), if they become regulated.

This is positive for the property industry. Our industry has actively engaged with National Treasury and motivated to extend REIT tax treatment to unlisted property entities. Many unlisted property-owning companies, like Pareto, are already well regulated with excellent standards of governance.

The introduction of more formal regulation for the industry, which supports entrepreneurship and growth, gives investors greater confidence in our sector, and prevents unscrupulous operators from tarnishing the good reputation of the property sector, will be good for the entire industry.

The 2015 National Budget Review Annexure C – Additional Tax Amendments states:

“In 2012, a special tax dispensation for listed REITS was introduced in the Income Tax Act… Unlisted property-owning companies marketed to the general public or held by institutional investors do not qualify for the same special tax dispensation as listed real estate investment trusts. Government proposes that unlisted property-owning companies should qualify for the same tax treatment if they become regulated. A regulatory framework for unlisted property-owning companies will be developed.”

Pareto Limited is South Africa’s premier shopping centre investor and one of the country’s leading retail property industry players. It is 100% owned by the Public Investment Corporation (SOC) Limited.

Pareto owns an unmatched portfolio of regional and super-regional shopping centres. Besides being the full owner of Cresta Shopping Centre, Southgate Mall and Value Market, and Westgate Regional Shopping Centre, all in Johannesburg; and Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in the East of Pretoria, it also wholly owns The Pavilion in Durban; and Mimosa Mall and Brandwag Shopping Centre in Bloemfontein. In Cape Town, Pareto co-owns Tyger Valley Shopping Centre.

Pareto also holds 25% of Sandton City and its surrounding assets including the Sandton Convention Centre and three hotels: The Sandton Sun, The InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers and Sandton Garden Court.

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