Budget Speech – 24 February 2021

As we enter the new tax year on 1 March, we’d like to remind you that there is no need to do a manual year end as in other payroll systems – simply continue processing payslips into the new tax year.

When you need to do your filing, the correct period will automatically be used and the relevant documents will be generated. For more information, please see our help site.

Our system will be up to date in time for next month in order to ensure that you are always compliant. We are pleased to inform you that from 1 March 2021, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2021 / 2022 period, as announced in the 2021 Budget Speech on 24 February 2021. If you are still processing payroll for the 2020 / 2021 tax year, the old tax tables will still be used, as you’d expect.

Here are some of the most important changes that you will see in your payroll for the coming year:

2021 / 2022 Tax Rates

The tax rates for individuals have remained the same as last year. However, government has increased the personal income tax brackets by 5% on average, which is above the rate of inflation (this being approximately 4%). In other words, all individual taxpayers will pay less income tax this year than in the previous year. 

Taxable Income (R)Rate of Tax (R)
1 – 216 20018% of taxable income
216 201 – 337 80038 916 + 26% of taxable income above 216 200
337 801 – 467 50070 532 + 31% of taxable income above 337 800
467 501 – 613 600110 739 + 36% of taxable income above 467 500
613 601 – 782 200163 335 + 39% of taxable income above 613 600
782 201 – 1 656 600229 089 + 41% of taxable income above 782 200
1 656 601 and above587 593 + 45% of taxable income above 1 656 600

All three categories of tax rebates (under 65 years old; 65 – 75 years old; and over 75) have increased by 5% from the previous year to the current year under the budget. 

The tax threshold has increased from R83 100 to R87 300, translating to the primary rebate increasing from R14 958 to R15 714. 

In addition to the primary rebate, the secondary rebate and tertiary rebates have been increased to R8 613 and R2 871 respectively. 

Medical Aid Tax Credit

The amount that can be deducted due to medical aid tax credit has increased as follows:

  • The tax credit for the main member and first dependant has increased from R319 to R332 per month.
  •  For every additional dependant, the tax credit has increased from R215 to R224 per month.

UIF Contributions

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contribution ceiling was announced to be increasing from R14 872,00 to R17 711,58 per month. UIF is calculated as 2% of an employee’s remuneration for UIF purposes, split equally between the employer and employee. Remuneration for UIF purposes is the employee’s remuneration, less certain exclusions such as commission. Under the budget speech, the maximum UIF contribution for each party is, therefore, R177,11 a month (R354,22 in total). 

Despite the announcement in the budget speech of this proposed change, for it to be effected, the alteration to the monthly UIF contribution limit needs to be published in the Government Gazette. Therefore, this change is not yet effective and shouldn’t be reflected on payroll.

The SimplePay Team has received confirmation from a reliable source that the UIF contribution ceiling change will be postponed. As such, we will continue to apply the original UIF contribution ceiling threshold of R14 872 until such a time as the increase has been confirmed to be effective. 

Subsistence Allowance

The ‘tax free’ portion of Subsistence Allowance* has remained unchanged at R139,00 for incidental costs within South Africa, and R452,00 for meals and incidental costs within South Africa.

*It is important to note that the subsistence allowance is only a guideline provided by SARS and is not legislated.

Travel Allowances

  • The rate per kilometre for reimbursive travel allowances remains unchanged at 398 cents (R3, 98).
  • The rates per kilometre which may be used in determining the allowable deduction for business travel against an allowance or advance where actual costs are not claimed, are outlined in the following SARS table:
Value of the vehicle (R)Fixed cost(R p.a.)Fuel cost(c/km)Maintenance cost(c/km)
0 – 95 00031 332105, 837, 4
95 001 – 190 00055 894118, 146, 8
190 001 – 285 00080 539128, 351, 6
285 001 – 380 000102 211138, 056, 4
380 001 – 475 000123 955147, 766, 2
475 001 – 570 000146 753169, 477, 8
570 001 – 665 000169 552175, 196, 6
665 001 and above169 552175, 196, 6

Non-Payroll Related

Section 12J Tax Incentive

The scheme, introduced in 2008 and which allowed taxpayers to invest in start-up companies in lieu of paying income tax, is set to expire on 30 June 2021. You can find more information on the rationale behind the winding up of this incentive on pages 48 and 49 of the budget speech

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information provided relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Revamped Preview Page for Bulk Finalising Payslips

We understand the importance of capturing payroll correctly. Many clients spend countless hours downloading and reviewing the PDF draft payslips for employees before finalising them. We thought that there has to be a better way to review payslip information in bulk! Introducing our new and improved bulk finalisation page.

This newly improved page allows you to use various toggles to show or hide additional payslip information so that you can focus on the information and figures that you want to see, whether this is simply the nett pay for each employee or more detailed information like payslip inputs or payslip values. The recent activity for payslips is now more clearly laid out, which is particularly useful to review if your payroll is prepared by multiple users.

For more information on the various aspects of this page, please refer to our help page here.

Just another way that the SimplePay team is working to improve payroll for you! 

Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll system that makes you more efficient? Sign up for our free 30-day trial here and see just how simple payroll can be.

Team SimplePay

National Minimum Wage Increase

Our blog post today covers the recently Gazetted national minimum wage increases, due to come into force on 1 March 2021. The changes bring an increase in the minimum wage for both the sector-specific wages and the national minimum wage.

The minimum wages from 1 March will be as follows:

National Minimum WageR21.69
Farm Workers Minimum WageR21.69
Domestic Workers Minimum WageR19.09
Public Works Program Minimum WageR11.93

Please note also that the minimum wage for Learners has been increased by 4.5% across all NQF levels.

The minimum wages for farm and domestic workers have significantly increased in comparison to last year (see 2020’s blog post), reflecting the Government’s aim to equalise all minimum wages over time.

Should any of your employees be on or near the current minimum wage, you should increase their hourly rate to at least meet the above amounts from next month. This is particularly important if you are benefiting from ETI for those employees, as this is a requirement to qualify for the incentive and the penalties for breaching the rules are severe.

As you know, we like to make your payroll a breeze. If you want to quickly check all your employees’ wages in one go, simply navigate to:

  • Employees > Bulk Actions > Regular Inputs (under Payroll Inputs)
  • From the dropdown boxes, select “Basic Salary” and either “Hourly Paid” or “Salaried”
  • Your employees and their hourly rate / salaries will be listed for you to review and amend as you deem necessary.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

New Pay Frequency: Every 4 Weeks

We’re excited to announce the release of a new pay frequency. In addition to weekly, monthly, bi-weekly and twice a month pay frequencies, you can now also set up pay frequencies with four week cycles. There is no additional charge for the extra functionality and it is automatically available to you.

Employees on this pay frequency will have 13 regular payslips per year, calculated as 52 weeks divided by 4 weeks. As always, SimplePay has one monthly fee and doesn’t charge for the number of payslips that are generated as a result of the pay frequency.

Remember that where employees accrue leave, their accrual per period (the accrual that appears on each payslip) is calculated as Entitlement per cycle / number of pay periods per cycle. Therefore, employees on an annual leave cycle will accrue leave according to the following formula: Annual leave entitlement / 13

If you’d like to use this pay frequency, you can set it up by following the steps in this help article. If you get stuck and need further assistance, or if you have any other queries, please get in touch with our Support team.

Not a SimplePay client but looking for a payroll software provider that cares about your needs, one that listens and takes action, one that doesn’t bill you with unnecessary charges? Find out more about us on our home page or sign up for a free trial.

Team SimplePay

SARS’ SMME Feedback Survey

Is your business a Small, Medium or Micro Enterprise (SMME)? We write to you today about an opportunity for you to give input on any tax related pain points or bottlenecks that you’ve experienced.

SARS is currently performing a study on the effectiveness of the current tax legislation, policies and incentives from the point of view of SMMEs, in order to help influence future legislative changes.

If you would like to complete a survey in relation to this, you can do so by following this link.

SARS has given assurances that the survey is confidential. For any enquiries or feedback, they have also provided this number: 082 4667105.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

February Adjusted Level 3 Amendments

Last night (1 Feb 2021) President Ramaphosa once again took to the TV screen to update South Africans on the coronavirus pandemic. The arrival of the first set of vaccines and a reduction in cases has allowed the Government to announce some relaxations to adjusted level 3 regulations, which were previously covered in this blog post from 14 January. 

From 1 February, the rules relating to Adjusted level 3 are as follows:

Hotspot & Non-Hotspot Areas
Curfew23:00 – 04:00 daily
Business closing timesNon-essential stores close at 22:00*
GatheringsAll uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses and faith-based institutions are permitted, in line with occupancy limitations, health protocols and social distancing. Remote working is still encouraged where possible.
Beaches, dams, lakes and riversOpen, subject to health protocols and social distancing.
Businesses that must remain closedNight clubs
Sale and distribution of alcoholOffsite consumption
Mon – Thurs: Permitted 10:00-18:00
Fri – Sun: Not permitted**

Onsite consumption
Mon – Sun: Permitted 10:00-22:00 for licensed premises.

*List of establishments which must close by 22:00: Cinemas; theatres; casinos; museums, galleries and archives; gyms and fitness centres; restaurants; venues hosting auctions; bars taverns; shebeens and venues hosting professional sport.

**wineries, wine farms, microbreweries and microdistilleries exception: these institutions may provide alcohol for on and off-site consumption throughout the week under adjusted level 3, provided they adhere to the curfew (22:00), health protocols and social distancing measures.

From the table above you can see that the current adjusted level 3 removes the restrictions on hotspots. It also allows the vast majority of businesses that were forced to close under adjusted level 3 to reopen their doors.

We hope that you have found this information useful and that these relaxations give you a boost for the start of February. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected].

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

UIF Payment Process Relaxed

At the end of last month, the UIF announced that it will be cutting away some of the red tape to help prevent labour centre queues spreading COVID-19.

The UIF now intends to deal directly with employers, who’ll need to collect retrenched employees’ benefit applications and supporting documents for the UIF. While the Department of Labour refines the new processes that they’ll use, you can expect to receive follow-ups to your submission.

To help reduce the number of people going to labour centres, the UIF has implemented the following measures:

  • Individuals enrolled for UIF benefits will not need to go to the department for a monthly continuation form. This will instead be calculated from the previous month’s statistics.
  • Application status updates will be provided to individuals by SMS, removing the need to follow up in person.
  • The UIF is setting up a USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) service, to facilitate faster access to information.

You can read the UIF’s media statement here.

We hope that this information has proved helpful to you. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Payslips Export

Being a SimplePay client means that you’re used to the benefits of a simple and efficient payroll system. But we’re always looking at ways to make your job even easier and faster. We heard your cries for a quicker way to download multiples payslips for an employee and are happy to announce that this is now available.

Our new Payslips Export report allows you to download a ZIP file with all the payslips within a specific date range for selected employees or pay points. For more information on how to generate this, head to our help article here.

This report makes the task of assisting employees with payslip requests much faster. Remember that employees also have the option to download payslips themselves using the self-service portal or app.

For any further questions, do not hesitate to contact our support team.

Not a SimplePay client? Want a payroll software provider that actually listens to their clients? Sign up for a free 30-day trial here to see just how simple payroll can be when using SimplePay.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Give Admin and Leave Admin Users Read-only Access

Unlike many other payroll systems, SimplePay does not charge for or restrict the number of users on the system. This means that you can give system access to all the people that need it, whether this is a department head who approves leave, a payroll administrator who processes payroll or an external accountant who completes filing submissions. While our user settings already have a range of roles and restrictions that you can configure, we’ve had several requests for giving users read-only access to the system. 

We are delighted to announce that we’ve upgraded our permissions to enable you to give users read-only access, with extensive flexibility that lets you customise this on a company, pay frequency or pay point level. 

When adding a user, you can still select their permission role (e.g. Leave Admin) and restrict them to specific companies, pay frequencies or pay points. However, when restricting users with Admin or Leave Admin roles, you can select the type of access for each company, pay frequency or pay points, namely:

  • Full: gives the user full access to the areas of the system as defined by that particular role
  • Read-only: gives the user read-only access to the areas of the system as defined by that particular role
  • None: gives the user no access

For more information on setting up users with read-only access, refer to our help article here.

We hope that you love the new feature! Please reach out to us if you have any trouble setting up users or if you have any further questions.

Team SimplePay

President’s 11 January Speech and TERS Disputes Procedure

As the country eases into 2021, the President’s speech on 11 January made it clear that COVID-19, and the resulting restrictions, will remain a part of day-to-day life in 2021. The blog post today looks to give a brief overview of the adjusted level 3 regulations from a business perspective and also flags the TERS disputes process.

Adjusted Level 3

The main change that the President announced in his most recent speech was that South Africa’s land borders will be closed until 15 February. Exceptions apply for goods, repatriation and medical supplies, meaning that this change is likely to mainly impact the tourism and leisure industry.

The above is in addition to the measures announced on 28 December, all of which remain in place.

Below is a table summarising some of the key restrictions to businesses under adjusted level 3 at this point in time.

Non-Hotspot AreasHotspot Areas
Curfew21:00 – 05:00 daily21:00 – 05:00 daily
Business closing timesNon-essential stores close at 20:00*Non-essential stores close at 20:00*
GatheringsAll uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses permitted which are permitted to be open is allowed, in line with the occupancy limitations.All uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses permitted which are permitted to be open is allowed, in line with the occupancy limitations.
Beaches, dams, lakes and riversOpen between 6:00 – 19:00 dailyClosed
Businesses that must remain closedPublic parks, public swimming pools, clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, Public parks, public swimming pools, clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, 
Sale and distribution of alcoholNot permittedNot permitted

*List of establishments which must close by 20:00: Cinemas; theatres; casinos; museums, galleries and archives; gyms and fitness centres; restaurants; venues hosting auctions; and venues hosting professional sport.

At this point in time, the only material difference between hotspot and non-hotspot areas is access to beaches, dams, lakes and rivers. The reasoning behind this is that the number of people at any one of these locations cannot easily be regulated or controlled. 

You can find a list of the areas designated as hotspots and the adjusted level 3 Regulations on the Government website.

TERS Dispute Resolution Process

On Friday 8 January, as an employer you should have received an email from the UIF, titled “UIF-TERS – Update letter”. The update letter lays out the process that you can follow if you believe the UIF has not performed one or more of its contractual obligations with you contained in your memorandum of association with them.

The letter highlights that this route is only for disputes and not for enquiries, such as failed bank verifications.

To lodge a formal dispute:

  1. Complete the Dispute Form (attached to the 8 January email, sender: [email protected]a)
  2. Attach any relevant supporting documentation
  3. Email the completed dispute form with attachments to [email protected], with the subject as “COVID-19 TERS Dispute – [Your UIF Reference Number]”

We hope that this information has proved useful. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay