2017 Employer Annual Reconciliation Filing Season

SARS has announced the dates of the 2017 Employer Annual Reconciliation filing season. This year it will run from 18 April to 31 May 2017.

Please note that this is slightly different from other years, where the filing season started on 1 April.

You will have until 31 May 2017 to submit your Annual Reconciliation Declarations (EMP501s) for the period 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017, in respect of the Monthly Employer Declarations (EMP201s) submitted, payments made, Employee Income Tax Certificates [IRP5s / IT3(a)s] and ETI, if applicable.

An updated version of [email protected] should be available from 18 April 2017, so it is not advisable to attempt to do your filing before then. Please remember to backup your current information on your computer before installing a new version of [email protected]

Remember that we have a help page about this bi-annual filing process, as well as a guide – to take you through it step by step.

Please pay particular attention to the checklist in the guide, which will help you eliminate unnecessary validation errors when trying to upload files to [email protected]

You can also refer to the SARS website for news about this.

As always, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

The SimplePay Team

2017 OID / Workman’s Comp Update

It’s that time of the year again – when you have to complete your Return of Earnings (ROE) or W.As.8. It is basically a declaration to the Compensation Fund of your employees’ earnings for the past year – in this case from 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017 (the same as the tax year). In addition, you also provide projected earnings for the next year.

Although the official deadline is 31 March, this has been extended to 31 May, and the filing season for this year is 1 April 2017 to 31 May 2017.

As always, we at SimplePay try to make your life easier, and you are able to download a report from our system that will help you to complete your W.As.8. Simply go to Submissions > OID (Workman’s Comp) Return.

Our system has already been updated with the new maximum amount of earnings on which your assessment will be calculated. The maximum will increase from R377 097 to R403 500, with effect from 1 April 2017.

More information about the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID) Act can be found on our help site.

If you are doing a manual submission, please ensure that you are using the latest version of the W.As.8, which can be found here.

Remember: your bi-annual SARS filing / reconciliation is also coming up soon, so if you get your ROE submission out of the way, it’s one less thing to worry about.

Please feel free to contact [email protected] if you need any assistance.

The SimplePay Team

Updates in SimplePay for the 2017/2018 Tax Year

As we’ve entered a 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.

In addition, our system has already been updated in order to ensure that you are always compliant. We are pleased to inform you that as from 1 March 2017, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2017/2018 period, as announced in the 2017 Budget Speech on 22 February 2017. If you are still processing payroll for the 2016/2017 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:

As expected, the tax tables have changed with inflation. The major change is the introduction of an additional, 45% tax bracket, for taxpayers earning R1 500 001 and above.

  • 2017/2018 Tax Rates:
Taxable Income (R) Rate of Tax (R)
0 – 189 880 18% of taxable income
189 881 – 296 540 34 178 + 26% of taxable income above 189 880
296 541 – 410 460 61 910 + 31% of taxable income above 296 540
410 461 – 555 600 97 225 + 36% of taxable income above 410 460
555 601 – 708 310 149 475 + 39% of taxable income above 555 600
708 311 – 1 500 000 209 032 + 41% of taxable income above 708 310
1 500 001 and above 533 625 + 45% of taxable income above 1 500 000

The tax threshold has also increased from R75 000 to R75 750 because the primary rebate has increased from R13 500 to R13 635.

The medical aid tax credit has increased as follows:

  • The tax credit for the main member and first dependant has increased from R286.00 to R303.00 per month.
  • For every additional dependant, the tax credit has increased from R192.00 to R204.00 per month.

The ‘tax free’ portion for the subsistence allowance** has increased as follows:

  • The allowance for incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R115.00 to R122.00.
  • The allowance for meals and incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R372.00 to R397.00.

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

If you have any questions relating to the above changes, you are welcome to email us at [email protected] to assist you with these queries.

The SimplePay Team

Payslips Delivered Right to Your Inbox

Amongst all the big updates that always come with the start of a new financial year, our tenacious developers have been able to sneak in some small but very useful features that we’re hoping will make your life just that little bit easier.

One of these handy new tricks is the ability to directly email payslips to employees via the employee self service feature. This makes it possible for employees to skip the login step and access their payslips directly from their email inbox in PDF format.

You can activate this right now by going to your Employees tab and clicking on the Manage Self Service option towards the right of the page. From there click on the Manage Payslip Settings option and tick the box labelled Attach payslips to emails on self-service release.

From now on, whenever an email goes out to employees notifying them that their payslip has been made available, it will also have a PDF copy attached.

For more information on any of the multitude of other time saving features that SimplePay has to offer, feel free to get in touch with our super helpful support team at any time.

 

2016 Retirement Reform

The 1st of March 2016 brought with it a number of significant changes that will affect employees with pension, provident and retirement annuity funds.  This legislation introduces a uniform tax treatment for all three of the above-mentioned funds (total taxable income deduction limited to 27.5% of income, with an annual cap of R350 000).

It also assigns retirement investments to two different categories: Defined Benefit (DB) schemes and Defined Contribution (DC) schemes. This distinction is important as it impacts the value of the fringe benefit arising from employer contributions:

  • Defined Contribution: the full value of the employer contribution
  • Defined Benefit: determined by means of a formula which uses a Category Factor

Employers should therefore contact their fund administrators in order to determine the nature of the fund. As a rule, all Retirement Annuity Funds will fall under the DC category with most Provident Funds doing the same. Pension funds could fall under either DC or DB. We would recommend that all employers with employees contributing to Pension or Provident Funds get in contact with the fund itself to ensure that the calculations are performed correctly. If it is a DB fund, and the fund has not issued a Contribution Certificate, employers should request this as a matter of urgency. This certificate contains pertinent information about the fund, including the Category Factor mentioned above. If applicable, the Category Factor should be entered into SimplePay when adding or updating a Pension or Provident fund item.

Our hard working code wizards have already made sure that SimplePay is fully up-to date with these new changes, and all you will need to do as a Payroll Administrator, is to input the appropriate category factor in the case of Defined Benefit funds.

As always, feel free to get in touch with our super helpful support team if you have any questions or concerns.

Updates in SimplePay for the 2016/2017 Tax Year

We are pleased to announce that SimplePay clients are once again some of the first to be informed of the relevant changes for the new tax year.   As from 01 March 2016, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2016/2017 period, as announced in the 2016 Budget Speech on 24 February 2016.

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

2016/2017 Tax Rates:

Taxable Income (R) Rate of Tax (R)
0 – 188 000 18% of taxable income
188 001 – 293 600 33 840 + 26% of taxable income above 188 000
293 601 – 406 400 61 296 + 31% of taxable income above 293 600
406 401 – 550 100 96 264 + 36% of taxable income above 406 400
550 101 – 701 300 147 996 + 39% of taxable income above 550 100
701 301 and above 206 964 + 41% of taxable income above 701 300

The primary rebate has increased from R13 257 to R13 500.

The tax threshold has also increased from R73 650 to R75 000

The medical aid tax credit has increased as follows:

  • The tax credit for the main member plus first dependent has increased from R270.00 to R286.00 per month.
  • For every additional dependent, the tax credit has increased from R181.00 to R192.00 per month.

The ‘tax free’ portion for subsistence allowance** has increased as follows:

  • The allowance for incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R109.00 to R115.00.
  • The allowance for meals and incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R353.00 to R372.00.

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

If you have any questions relating to the above changes, you are welcome to contact SimplePay support to assist you with these queries.

The SimplePay Team

Getting Started with Employee Self Service

Here at SimplePay, we believe that taking leave and getting paid should be the least stressful work related things that your employees can do. In the past, however, this hasn’t always been the case, mostly because of all of the red tape and paperwork involved in collecting payslips, and requesting and approving leave.

In our mission to make your payroll experience as simple as possible, we decided to address this issue by including a convenient and easy to use leave requesting and approval system. Your  employees will never have to be late for the holiday of a lifetime because their leave didn’t get approved in time. Check out the rest of the post for more information on how you can make your life easier by using employee self service.

Once you’ve logged into SimplePay, click on the Employees tab and then select Manage Self-Service on the right side of the page.

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This will bring up a page displaying all of the employees in the company, with blank spaces in which you can fill in their E-Mail addresses. Go ahead and fill these in for all of the employees for whom you want to enable self-service, after which you can tick the Enabled box. After you have done this you can click on the Save button, which will send emails to everyone on this list, requesting them to create an account that they will be able to use to check payslips and request or approve leave.

The next step in this process is to go to Manage Leave Settings in order to set up your organisation’s approval groups.

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The first step will be to click on Add Group. This will allow you to tell SimplePay who will be applying for leave, and who will be approving it. When setting up who requests will be approved by, you will need to choose from one of four options for each group:

  • Single Approver – This person holds all the power. All requests get approved by them and them alone.
  • Any of – If at least one person on this list approves the leave, you’re good to go.
  • All of – Every single person on this list has to approve the leave request for it to be approved.
  • All in order – Each person on this list will be notified of the leave request only if the person before them in the list approved it.

Once you have selected which of these modes you want, you can click on the plus icon, select somebody from the list and then click Add. Repeat this process for each leave approver. Specifying who will request leave for this group works in the same way. Click on the plus, select the name and then click Add. Easy. To make things even simpler, if the whole company will be using the same leave approver(s), you can just select the company name from the drop down menu.

ESSgroups

Believe it or not, that was the hard part. From now on, your employees will be able to log into their own SimplePay account in order to view or download any payslips they have available or to submit leave requests.

To put in a leave request, employees can simply click on Requests and then Submit Leave Request. From there they can just select the days of leave that they want to request as well as the type of leave before clicking Confirm. After this there will be an option to record a personalised message that will be seen by whoever is approving the leave.

ESSrequest

As soon as they click Save, an email will be sent to the appropriate leave approver(s), notifying them of the request.

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This email will contain a link to the Approval tab, which will allow yourself or the appointed employee to either approve or deny the request, along with a comment.

ESSapprove

So there it is. Getting the go ahead for that dream get-away has never been easier. If you can think of any way that we can make this process even simpler, please feel free get in touch with us and let us know.

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2016 Payroll Changes – Additional Medical Tax Credit

With the start of the new financial year looming ahead of us, lawmakers have been hard at work drafting legislative changes that will require Payroll administrators to keep their wits about them if they want to keep up.

To make your life easier, we make it our business to keep abreast of any and all changes that could effect how you process your payroll. In the coming weeks, we will be posting some of the most interesting changes that you should be taking note of, so be sure to check back regularly.

One of the most significant changes taking place in the upcoming financial year, is the introduction of the Additional Medical Tax Credit (AMTC).

This credit serves to give tax relief to employees who are over the age of 65, in the form of an increased Medical Tax Credit for each month.

As of 1st March 2016, employees aged 65 and up will be eligible to receive an additional reduction to the monthly amount of PAYE withheld to the value of 33.3% of the excess total contribution paid to the medical scheme that exceeds three times the regular Medical Tax Credit value. This Additional Medical Tax Credit will be reported separately from the Medical Tax Credit on the tax certificate.

For example:

An employee makes a monthly contribution of R1500 to his medical aid and has no dependents. The Medical Tax Credit in this case would be R270.

To calculate the Additional Medical Tax Credit, we first need to determine difference between 3 x R270 and the contribution. In this case the calculation would be as follows:

R270 x 3 = R810

R1500 – R810 = R690

R690 x 33.3% = R229.77 Additional Medical Tax Credit

This employee would then receive a total tax credit tax credit to the value of:

R270 (Medical Tax Credit)
+ R229.77 (Additional Tax Credit)
= R499.77 (Total Medical Tax Credit)

You’ll be glad to know, that our development team has been hard at work in order to ensure that this feature will be ready to go from the first of of March, with absolutely no additional input required from your side.

As always, if you have any comments or concerns, feel free to get hold of us in the comments or through our super helpful support team 🙂

New Leave Overview

With annual shutdown just around the corner for many companies, our dedicated team of coding elves have been cooking up a feature that a lot of you have been asking for.

This brand new Leave Overview page can be accessed under the “Employees” tab and  allows you to see all of your employees’ approved and pending leave in one place. Scroll backwards or forwards to see leave that has been recorded historically as well as leave that has been scheduled to be taken in upcoming months.

For a quick rundown on how to access and use the leave overview, check out the short video below.

Leave Calendar Updates

Just in time for the festive season, we are super excited to present to you our updated leave calendar.

This new calendar is more than just a pretty face; it sports a number of new features to make leave recording simpler and more accurate.

Do you need to record a partial day of annual leave as well as one of compassionate leave for the same employee on the same day? Just select the day(s) in question and  the type of leave, tick the box for partial day and put it into the system. Repeat this as many times as needed.

Take it for a spin while you record leave for the upcoming December period and check it out in action in the video below.