The South African Reserve Bank has decided to decrease the repurchase rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points, effective from 19 July 2019.
The official interest rate used for calculating the fringe benefit on low or interest free loans to employees is set as 100 basis points above the repo rate. This means that the interest rate used for calculating the fringe benefit on employer loans decreases from 7.75% to 7.5%, effective 19 July 2019.
If you’re a SimplePay user, you do not need to take any action to implement the new interest rate, as we have already updated our system to reflect these changes. Therefore, all payslips dated and finalised from 19 July onwards will use the new interest rate. If a payslip dated after 19 July was finalised before the 19 July (i.e. it was finalised in advance), you will need to unfinalise the payslip and then finalise it again for the changes to take effect. As we have built our system to be intuitive, the previous interest rate will be used if you are still preparing payslips dated before the 19 July, regardless of what date you physically finalise the payslip.
If you are unsure of how to capture employee loans or calculate the fringe benefit on them, refer to our help page here.
We are happy to announce the release of a new feature that allows you to override payslip end dates in bulk. This feature is used to extend or shorten the payment period for a specified payslip.
This feature is particularly useful for companies that have an annual shutdown and pay their employees upfront for the period that they are on leave. If an employee is paid upfront for their leave period and the payslip end date is not changed to reflect this, then it is likely that the employee will overpay tax. This is because an employee’s year-to-date income earned and the length of period in which it was earned is used to calculate tax. Therefore, payslip dates must accurately depict the period for which the income is earned to ensure that the tax calculation is accurate.
Of course, overriding payslip end dates in bulk is not exclusively for annual shutdowns and this feature can be used in various contexts.
For more information on how to use this bulk action, refer to our help articles:
Please take note of the following issues and other matters regarding SARS eFiling:
(1) Consolidated Profiles
SARS is consolidating profiles where payroll administrators or individuals have more than one profile on eFiling.
For payroll administrators, SARS is now authenticating all existing users and migrating them to one single profile.
Individuals with multiple profiles will be required to choose a primary login from a list after logging into eFiling with any one of the profiles. Once the primary login is chosen, the indivdual must link the other logins as “Portfolios” to his/her profile.
The role in which you act is referred to as the SARS eFiling Portfolio. Only Tax Practitioner and Organisation portfolios can have multiple tax entities loaded on SARS eFiling, while Individuals cannot. Therefore, if you are a SimplePay client that does payroll for multiple firms, you should use the Organisation portfolio.
The 3 types of Portfolios referred to above can be defined as:
Individual: A person acting on his/her own behalf for his/her own taxes
Tax Practitioner: A Tax Practitioner that is registered with a recognised controlling body, acting on behalf of another tax paying entity and authorised by a signed Power of Attorney.
Organisation: A person acting as a representative of a tax paying entity, either as a representative taxpayer or as an appointed representative with a signed Power of Attorney.
(3) Tax Certificates not Pre-populating for Individuals
An error occurs on SARS eFiling under certain circumstances when an individual completes his or her ITR12 (Income Tax return):
When completing an ITR12, the tax certificate information is pre-populated in the annual return. However, when the individual saves the return and then requests a calculation, the “Creation wizard” defaults the “Unemployment” questions as YES, and the tax certificate that was linked is unlinked and is no longer available.
SARS is working on this issue. The workaround to re-link the tax certificate is:
The user must set all questions relating to unemployment as NO in the “Creation wizard”
SAVE the return, and then
REFRESH the DATA.
However, this will have the effect that the user must complete all the relevant information.
Sometimes small changes make a big difference, so you may spot some modifications that we have made to leave.
A new report
We have added a new report called Leave Days Report. This report shows the specific days that employees have taken/will take leave for the specified leave type and period. It complements our current Leave Report, which shows you the total number of leave days taken during the period, made up of the individual days shown on the Leave Days Report. This added leave report will simplify your payroll duties, as you can confirm leave dates with employees or managers. It is also useful in the management of employees and communication with other departments.
Visual tweaks to entitlement policies
We have made it clearer to see whether or not an employee is on the default company leave policy. When going to an employee’s profile and clicking on Leave > Entitlement Policies > Edit, (company default) will now display next to the leave policy if the employee is on the company’s default policy. In addition, we have updated the heading to display as Active Entitlement Policies.
You can still see the company default policy by going to Settings > Leave > View (next to the leave type) and scrolling to the bottom. However, we have changed the heading to Active Entitlement Policies (company defaults) to align with the changes made in the employees’ profiles.
We hope that these small changes will make a big difference in your payroll experience. If you need any help with leave management, refer to our help page here. For more information on reports, click here.
The 2019 tax season officially starts on 1 August 2019. However, if an individual makes use of eFiling or the MobiApp to complete their tax return, they are now able to do so, as filing opened on these platforms on Monday 1 July 2019.
Legislation requires that all employees receive a copy of their IRP5/IT3(a) after the tax year ends in February. This should now have been done, whether in digital or hard copy format. Employees can retrieve their tax certificates themselves via self-service on SimplePay, if this function has been made available by the payroll administrator. For more information on this, refer to our help page here.
Individuals should also take note of the following information:
SARS has revealed a new look eFiling website, which will hopefully improve the filing experience. For an optimal experience with eFiling, SARS recommends that a web browser should not be older than the following: Chrome v41, Firefox v55, Edge v13, Safari v10 or Opera v55
This year, if an individual meets ALL of the following criteria, then they do not need to submit a tax return:
Total income from employment for the year before tax is less than R500 000. This was raised from R350 000 last year.
Employment income should be received from ONE employer for the full tax year, and NO OTHER EMPLOYER.
There should be no other form of INCOME earned (e.g. car allowance, business income, and rental income, taxable interest or income from another job)
The individual doesn’t have any additional allowable tax related deductions to claim (e.g. medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions and travel expenses).
If there is uncertainty about whether a tax return is required, this can be checked using this SARS tool.