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Growthpoint has operated as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) from 1 July 2013. The REIT structure is a tax regime that provides “flow through” on a pre-tax basis of the net property income to investors in the form of a taxable dividend.
It is the most prevalent structure for investment in property in international jurisdictions. As investment in listed property continues to globalise, the REIT structure has become a recognised international standard.
In terms of the dividend and dividend withholding tax provisions of the Income Tax Act, read in conjunction with section 25BB of the Income Tax Act, distributions received from a REIT will be taxed in the hands of the shareholder as follows:
Dividends received by resident shareholders are taxed as income in the hands of the recipient, but are exempt from dividend withholding tax.
Dividends received by non-resident shareholders are not taxed as a dividend for income tax purposes as the dividends are exempt in terms of the usual dividend exemptions, but are, however, subject to dividend withholding tax.
Shareholders are encouraged to consult their professional tax advisers if they are in any doubt about the tax implications for distributions received from Growthpoint.