Lockdown Recap #2

Update 23 April: We have received word that the termination date is in fact needed in the CSV (after being told to leave it out) and are doing the update as a top priority. In the meantime you can populate the termination date field before downloading the CSV and use our “copy down” functionality if the date is the same for all employees. We have received confirmation that the TERS benefit paid by employers to their employees will not be subject to PAYE, SDL or UIF. You may pay this amount off-system if you choose, but we recommend waiting until we have updated our system to include a new TERS benefit item. We will send out a notification when the system has been updated.

Update 20 April: SimplePay has updated the TERS CSV export as per the Government’s latest changes. Foreign identification numbers will also be automatically included when generating the TERS CSV export.

It has been another busy period since our last recap blog, with the headline being President Ramaphosa’s announcement on the extension of the lockdown by 2 weeks to 30 April. This blog is aimed at building on the detailed content already provided in our week 1 recap blog. Below you will find a chronological summary of changes that have occurred since the mentioned recap blog, as well as some clarifications on questions that have been asked by yourselves over this past week.

Changes between 6 and 14 April

6 April: Procedure to follow for the 20% Deferment of Tax 

Update 23 April: The amouunt of PAYE liability that can be deferred by employers has been increased to 35% from 20%

As outlined in the FAQ of our previous week 1 recap blog, you do not need to do anything to claim the deferment. You should complete your pay runs as per normal, you do not need to do anything special on SimplePay to gain the 20% PAYE liability deferment through your EMP201 submission. SARS has indicated that their systems have been updated so that when they process your submission, the relevant payment amount will be correctly calculated. They will then provide you with a statement of account for the reduced amount due.

Should you wish to do a manual calculation and subtract the 20% yourself, this is also an accepted means of payment. In light of the above and in order to focus our capacity on crucial COVID-19 and other system updates, we have decided not to update our EMP201s to accommodate the deferment.

Should you have any further questions on the deferment, please contact SARS for assistance on 0800 00 7277.

7 April: Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme – TERS

Update 16 April: The email application is now obsolete. A new online application is now available. Read more here.

Last week on 7 April, the Department of labour changed the format of the CSV Export file and application process. This meant that the added CSV export functionality which we provided had to be altered in order to match the new layout. 

We are glad to inform you that this functionality is live and further information can be found in the TERS blog post here. Please note that if you export the CSV file using SimplePay, the corresponding excel spreadsheet attached to the email does not need to be completed.

We should mention to you that our advice from the previous blogs still remains, i.e. to apply, send an email to [email protected]. You should then receive an automated response containing the requirements and process to follow.

Should you have any questions surrounding anything to do with TERS we would recommend you contact them at [email protected].


How can foreign identification numbers that are not reflected on the CSV Export template be added? 

Update 20 April: SimplePay has been updated to now automatically include foreign identification numbers in the TERS CSV export.

This has come to our attention, so we are busy updating our system to allow for foreign identification numbers to be automatically included. 

We recommend that you wait to export the CSV template until our update has been implemented. Otherwise, it will be necessary to manually edit the CSV file.

Where can I find the UIF Reference number, referred to in the CSV Export?

The UIF reference number which should be captured, is the one provided by the Department of Labour and not the one provided by SARS. 

What is the status of the CSV export functionality in light of the most recent changes from the Department of Labour?

Update 20 April: SimplePay has been updated to cater for the below changes.  

We are busy implementing the Government’s latest updates to the TERS CSV export. We’d recommend waiting but if you’d like to proceed without our updates, please ensure you edit the export as follows: (1) add the “/” back into the UIF number after the 7th digit (e.g. “1234567/8”) and (2) update the “Shutdown to” date to 2020-04-30.

9 April: New Tourism  and Industrial Sectors Support Blog

At the end of last week we released the latest in our collection of support for business blogs. If you haven’t seen it already, please see our Support for the Tourism and Industrial Sector Blog here.

14 April: COVID-19 Employer Tax Incentive (ETI)

In our previous blog on the COVID-19 ETI scheme found here, we stated that we will complete the required updates so that employers can benefit from this scheme. We are still in the process of updating our system and shall let you know as soon as the update is live.

14 April: Further Reduction in Interest Rates

On 14 April, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) announced a further reduction in the interest rate by 100 basis points (1%). This means that the official interest rate for employer loans now stands at 5.25% per annum.

The system has now been updated and is taking this into account for the calculation of fringe benefits on employee loans.

17 April: Employer Annual Reconciliation filing Open

SARS has announced that the 2019/20 employer annual reconciliation filing season is to run from 15 April to 31 May.

We have been flat out to try and facilitate COVID-19 relief for you all, which has meant that we are not quite done with our filing preparation and data checks, which are needed to allow smooth filing.

We are hoping to have the system ready for filing for you by early next week. As luck would have it SARS has announced that the system will be down for maintenance on Friday, 17 April, between 15:30 and 21:00. We therefore would advise that you take the weekend off, so that you can return next week energised for filing!

Other FAQs


Update 21 April: The Department of Employment and Labour has opened a dedicated UIF toll free hotline, running 8am – 10pm Monday to Friday. The number is 0800 030 007.

How do I pay my UIF contribution if the Department of Labour call centres are closed?

Despite both the labour centres and call centres being closed, this does not necessarily mean that the entire Department of Labour is closed. Therefore if you normally pay your taxes in one of these ways, we recommend that you reach out to the Department of Labour at [email protected].

We hope this has helped summarise the past week for you as well as clarify some of your questions.

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay