Got questions? We have answers.

The information and answers supplied in this section do not constitute advice as defined by the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act of 2002.

Got questions? We have answers.

The information and answers supplied in this section do not constitute advice as defined by the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act of 2002.

Popular Questions

How can MyGlobalCFO help me before I emigrate?

We can assist in the following ways:

  1. Funds transfer to your overseas bank account.
  2. Offshore Investment.
  3. Assistance with redemption of South African policies.

 

You will talk to a Forex and Investment specialist from day 1.

We’ll help get your funds offshore efficiently, and make sure that you get a bank-beating exchange rate.

I'm currently applying for an Australian visa - when should I get in touch?

MyGlobalCFO will work with you (and your migration agent, if applicable) during the visa application process.

You can use our ‘Prepare for emigration’ service to pay migration agent and visa application charges.

We can assist with investment in Australia while your visa application is underway, so you can start to establish an asset base offshore.

We can then facilitate your FX transfer ahead of your move, and your financial emigration to redeem your SA policies thereafter.

Is my money safe?

When MyGlobalCFO facilitates a forex transfer for you, your money remains your money.

We have partnered with one of South Africa’s leading investment banks through which we open a cash account in your name.

It’s through this account your FX deal is executed, and the foreign currency flows into the offshore bank account that you designate.

Unlike many other players in the forex market, at no point in the process are you required to transfer the money to us or any third party account other than your own.

How will I save money on a transfer over R150k out of South Africa?

MyGlobalCFO offers transaction fee-free transfers out of SA over R150,000.

As an example, you can expect a R175,000 transfer to work as follows:

What is a blocked account?

Once your non-resident status has been registered with SARS and the SARB, a non-resident account is opened for you.

This becomes your only bank account in South Africa, and it is an account through which all currency transfers out of South Africa must flow in terms of exchange control regulations.

It is not a transactional account like a normal bank account.

Why would I want to cash in a Retirement Annuity?

Many South Africans that live abroad choose to cash in their South African Retirement annuity to centralise their retirement investments offshore.

Having said this, once you have cashed in your retirement annuity and transferred it offshore, there aren’t any restrictions on what you use this money for.

Before making the decision to cash in a Retirement Annuity, we recommend speaking to your financial advisor about what the tax consequences of cashing it in will be, and also to assess the tax consequences / benefits of investing it in your new country of residence.

How can MyGlobalCFO help me before I emigrate?

Our role is to make sure that you get your funds to your destination efficiently, that you remain exchange-control compliant and that you get market-beating exchange rates.

We start by opening a high-interest cash account for you. This is a savings account designed to help you prepare for emigration.

This account is used to centralise your funds before emigrating and it ensures you are earning a return on your capital before the offshore transfer. You can also use it to pay your migration agent, if applicable.

At the point of emigration, we execute a FX transaction to transfer your funds to the offshore bank account you nominate.

After emigration, you might need to keep an account open in order to make further transfers in future. You may also retain funds in South Africa and want to earn a return on these. You could even have monthly debit orders you still need to make in South Africa. We are able to keep your high-interest cash account open to facilitate these, with no monthly account fee.

The account provides immediate access to funds at all times. It does not have a minimum deposit requirement, and does not have a monthly account fee.

I'm moving to Australia - how can MyGlobalCFO help?

MyGlobalCFO has a presence in South Africa and Australia.

We work in tandem with a number of MARA registered migration agents to manage the financial aspects of the move alongside the visa process.

Leverage off our forex, exchange control and investment expertise to (1) pay agent / DIBP fees, (2) transfer funds into your Australian bank account, and (3) invest in Australia to prepare for a property acquisition, save for children’s education or put money away for retirement – a premium service all while saving money versus using your bank.

I’ve heard a lot of talk about “Financial Emigration”. What is this?

Financial emigration and physically moving overseas are not the same thing.

You may consider yourself to have moved overseas permanently, but if you haven’t submitted forms to notify SARS and the SARB of your non-residence status – you are still considered a ‘South African temporarily abroad’ from their perspective.

It’s only at the point that you notify SARS and the SARB, that you have financially emigrated.

It’s important to note that financially emigrating does not impact your South African citizenship status or your eligibility for a South African passport. It just means that you become a non-resident as far as SARS and the SARB are concerned, after which you can no longer have a South African Bank account other than what is known as a blocked account.

Do I need to formally “financially emigrate”?

Not necessarily.

Most South Africans that live and work overseas are considered “South Africans temporarily abroad” from the perspective of SARS and the South African Reserve Bank. There is no issue with this, and it doesn’t stop you transferring money out of South Africa using your annual allowances.

The only time most South Africans decide to formally financially emigrate is when they have settled in their new country and want to cash in their retirement funds in South Africa. In order to cash these in, they need to go through the process of formal financial emigration.

Is my money safe?

When MyGlobalCFO facilitates a forex transfer for you, your money remains your money.

We have partnered with one of South Africa’s leading investment banks through which we open a cash account in your name.

It’s through this account your FX deal is executed, and the foreign currency flows into the offshore bank account that you designate.

Unlike many other players in the forex market, at no point in the process are you required to transfer the money to us or any third party account other than your own.

Why do I need a cash account before I transfer my Rands?

A cash account is the conduit through which we facilitate your forex transaction. It ensures that your money is held in your name all the way through the process.

The cash account is more versatile than just facilitating an offshore transfer. It is designed to be a savings account, which means it is perfect as a centralised depository to save for emigration and deposit the proceeds of asset sales prior to transferring the funds offshore.

It’s likely you will also need it after transferring your Rands, because you might want to make additional transfers in future, earn a return on funds you leave in South Africa, or repatriate funds back.

Characteristics of the cash account:

  • Immediate access to funds – cash is not locked in
  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • No monthly account fee

What if I don’t live in South Africa anymore, and don’t have a South African bank account?

If you no longer have a South African bank account, we are still able to assist. Living in South Africa is not a pre-requisite for opening an account.

You still need to meet FICA requirements though, so in order to open you an account we will need to obtain all relevant documentation from identification to proof of residence.

In cases where a person has already ‘Financially Emigrated’, we can still open an account for you; however this account will be subject to certain restrictions.

How does MyGlobalCFO earn money on a FX deal out of SA over R150k?

For transfers out of SA over R150k, there are no transaction fees – ie. no commissions, admin, swift or receiving bank fees.  The only fee MyGlobalCFO levies is charged within the FX rate itself.  Because we keep our overheads low, we are able to charge a lower spread within the FX rate than Commercial Banks, and hence pass on greater savings to our clients.

How long does a FX transfer normally take?

Once you have provided your FICA documentation and transferred the funds into your cash account, the transaction can be executed. Funds take 2-3 business days to reflect in the beneficiary account.

How much can I transfer?

If you’re currently in South Africa, you can transfer up to R11m. This is up to R1m via your discretionary allowance and then a further R10m via your FIA (Foreign investment allowance).

Remember that these are annual transfer limits. Should you wish to transfer more than the above allowances in the calendar year, MyGlobalCFO can assist with submission of a special application to the Reserve Bank.

Will I be impacted by Exchange Control regulations?

Although the requirements have been relaxed in recent years, transfers out of South Africa are still subject to Exchange Control regulations.

The two main annual allowances that South Africans are entitled to are:

  1. R1 million discretionary allowance – this allowance no longer requires SARS tax clearance. It is valid from 1 January to 31 December every year for South African residents over the age of 18. It can be used at the residents discretion without documentary evidence having to be produced.
  2. R10 million foreign investment allowance – this is intended for South Africans investing offshore, and still requires SARS tax clearance.

Why would I want to cash in a Retirement Annuity?

Many South Africans that live abroad choose to cash in their South African Retirement annuity to centralise their retirement investments offshore.

Having said this, once you have cashed in your retirement annuity and transferred it offshore, there aren’t any restrictions on what you use this money for.

Before making the decision to cash in a Retirement Annuity, we recommend speaking to your financial advisor about what the tax consequences of cashing it in will be, and also to assess the tax consequences / benefits of investing it in your new country of residence.

Do I need to formally “financially emigrate” before I can cash in my retirement funds?

In order to cash in certain retirement annuities before the age of 55, you may need to financially emigrate. This is so that your funds can be released from the Investment manager and paid into a blocked account for transfer offshore.

“Financial Emigration” is a term which confuses a lot of people, but in essence it is as follows:

  • Financial emigration and physically moving overseas are not the same thing.
  • You may consider yourself to have moved overseas permanently, but if you haven’t submitted forms to notify SARS and the SARB of your non-residence status – you are still considered a ‘South African temporarily abroad’ from their perspective.
  • It’s only at the point that you notify SARS and the SARB, that you have financially emigrated.
  • Financially emigrating does not impact your South African citizenship status or your eligibility for a South African passport.
  • Financially emigrating means you become a non-resident as far as SARS and the SARB are concerned, after which you can no longer have a South African Bank account other than what is known as a blocked account.

What is a blocked account?

Once your non-resident status has been registered with SARS and the SARB, a non-resident account is opened for you.

This becomes your only bank account in South Africa, and it is an account through which all currency transfers out of South Africa must flow in terms of exchange control regulations.

It is not a transactional account like a normal bank account.

Should I formally “financially emigrate” at the same time that I leave South Africa?

Not necessarily – the answer to this question depends on the individual.

Most South Africans that live and work overseas are considered “South Africans temporarily abroad” from the perspective of SARS and the South African Reserve Bank. There is no issue with this, and it doesn’t stop you transferring money out of South Africa using your annual allowances.

This means you are likely to keep a bank account open, and you might keep cash or investments in South Africa, retain debit orders and make ad hoc payments. The only time most South Africans decide to formally financially emigrate is when they have settled in their new country and want to cash in their retirement funds in South Africa. In order to cash these in, they need to go through the process of formal financial emigration. Once you go through this process, you end up with a blocked account which no longer operates like a transactional bank account.

What if I don’t live in South Africa anymore, and don’t have a South African bank account?

The fact that you don’t live in South Africa anymore is what entitles you to “financially emigrate” and to access your retirement funds.

If you lived in South Africa, you wouldn’t be able to cash in certain annuities.

If you no longer have a South African bank account, we can assist you with opening one, which will become a blocked account when you financially emigrate and your funds will flow offshore through this account.

 

What is a blocked account?

Once your non-resident status has been registered with SARS and the SARB, a non-resident account is opened for you.

This becomes your only bank account in South Africa, and it is an account through which all currency transfers out of South Africa must flow in terms of exchange control regulations. It is not a transactional account like a normal bank account.

Can I invest in an Australian unit trust before I emigrate there?

Yes.

If you are a South African resident with a green bar-coded ID book or smart ID and have a South African income tax number, you can utilise your individual offshore allowances to invest in Australia while you are still residing in South Africa.

How can MyGlobalCFO help me invest in Australia?

MyGlobalCFO is a registered adviser with Allan Gray Australia.  We assist South-African based investors who would like to invest in the Allan Gray Australia funds.

We have a streamlined process for setting up your investment account, and facilitating your foreign exchange transfer into the funds at competitive FX rates.

This is especially useful for our South African clients who are looking to migrate to Australia in future, and wish to establish an asset base ahead of their move.

It may also help enhance return on capital invested relative to holding funds at low/zero interest in a migrant banking account (assuming an investment is appropriate given a client’s timeline, risk tolerance and personal circumstances).

Do I need a SARS tax clearance certificate to invest offshore?

Not always.

If you are utilising your annual discretionary allowance of up to R1 million per calendar year, you do not need to tax clearance from SARS.

If you are transferring in excess of R1m and utilising your foreign investment allowance, you may require tax clearance.  If you are a MyGlobalCFO client, we will expedite your tax clearance application.

How do I invest in the MyGlobalCFO International Equity portfolio?

MyGlobalCFO has a streamlined process to establish your equity portfolio, which we manage from start to end:

– We set up holding account for your FX transfers to Switzerland (South African domicile).

– You fund this account with the initial investment.

– We set up of your account on our Swiss investment platform.

– We execute your FX deal to transfer your initial investment into your Swiss Account.

– Our investment team builds your international portfolio.

Why does the International Equity Portfolio have a high minimum investment amount?

The portfolio minimum investment amount is currently USD 100,000.

The portfolio is intended for high net worth clients who prefer a direct holding of shares, exchange traded and managed funds.  The number of direct portfolio holdings mean a larger investment amount to build sufficient equity exposure.

The portfolio provides investors with an actively managed, global equity exposure.  It gives investors the flexibility to add additional holdings from a very large investment universe, which includes the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, London Stock Exchange, Swiss Exchange, and more.

On a case by case basis, we may work with investors to phase their portfolio in over time where they don’t have the minimum investment amount immediately available.