Interest Rate Change for Employer Loans

The South African Reserve Bank has decided to decrease the repurchase rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points, effective from 16 January 2020.

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 7.5% to 7.25%, effective 16 January 2020.

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 16 January onwards will use the new interest rate. If a payslip dated after 16 January was finalised before the 16 January (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 16 January, 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.

Team SimplePay

Year in Review and Price Adjustment

As 2019 (and the decade) draws to a close, we’d like to thank you for choosing SimplePay as your payroll software provider. We really value the loyalty, ideas, feedback and love that we get from you, our clients.

We would also like to take this opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and share some important information with you. 

In January, our annual price adjustment will come into effect. As always, this will be an inflationary-related increase, which allows us to maintain the quality of our product and the service that we offer. Our current prices are available here – we will send out a notice in January to alert you of the new prices.

When looking back on 2019, it was certainly a year of growth for our team, which led to the fantastic accomplishment of being nominated as a Xero App Partner of the Year. Some of the major features and functions that we accomplished were:

  • Custom items based on system items, and the subsequent expansion of this feature
  • Custom employee fields in Basic Info
  • A new leave days report
  • Customisation of employee self-service
  • Bulk actions for once-off payslips and overriding payslip end dates
  • Leave expiration
  • QuickBooks integration upgrade
  • Automatic logout for idle accounts

In 2020, you can expect the team to continue striving to enhance your payroll experience. As always, all added features are completely free for all and do not change the monthly fee that you pay.

From all of us here at SimplePay, have a joyful festive season. We are looking forward to a great 2020 together!

Team SimplePay

New Self-Service Features

We have been working on expanding our self-service functionality recently and are pleased to announce that we have added two new features. These changes allow you to disable different types of self-service requests (i.e. leave and / or info update requests). You’re now also able to hide leave balances for all or some of your leave types.

You can make these setup changes by navigating to Employees > Self-Service > Settings and then selecting either General or Leave from the drop-down menu.

To disable self-service request types, select General from the menu and select whichever types of requests you would like to disable for self-service. Once you’ve done this, self-service users won’t be able to submit any new requests for the type you disabled.

To hide leave balances, select Leave from the menu and uncheck the leave types for which you would like to hide the balances. After you’ve done this, self-service users won’t be able to see their leave balances for the specific leave type, but will still be able to submit requests.

We hope that these new features improve your payroll processing experience. 

For more information on how to make these changes, please refer to our help site pages here or contact our support team.

Team SimplePay

CF System Update

The Compensation Fund has begun the process of modernising and consolidating their systems. This process includes an update to the CF-Filing platform.

To allow for this update, the CF-Filing system has been offline as of 28 August. While the technical migration to a new system is underway you will not be able to submit information through the [email protected] mailbox. 

The Compensation Fund has reinstated the old ROE Online system so that filing can continue during the update. The ROE Online system can be accessed from cfonline.labour.gov.za

You will be able to perform the following actions through the ROE Online system

  • Employer Registration
  • Submit Return of Earnings
  • Retrieve Letter of Good Standing
  • Verify Letter of Good Standing

Furthermore, the online payment platform will no longer be available and you will need to utilise the banking details on the Notice of Assessment/Invoice to make direct payments through your bank. 

The following contact details are available for any queries you may have:

As always, feel free to contact SimplePay support if you have any questions.

Team SimplePay

Customise System Items

SimplePay is all about you, our users. So when you asked for more power to customise the system to suit your payroll needs, we listened. We’re delighted to announce our latest feature – the ability to create custom items that follow the same tax and payroll rules as system items.

This new feature allows you to:

  • Create multiple items of a certain type:
    • Commission
    • Once-off Commission
    • Employer Loans
    • Garnishees
    • Maintenance Orders
    • Savings
  • Customise the names of these items. For example, you may want to differentiate between different types of commissions.
  • Map different versions of a specific type of item to different Xero accounts. For example, you may want to give an annual bonus to two different employees but you want one of them to be mapped to an account in Xero called “Director’s Costs” and the other to an account in Xero called “Employee Costs”. You can add the bonus to the payslips as two different items.

How does it work?

When creating a custom item (Settings > Custom Items > Add), there is now an option to select create a copy of an existing system item. Select the system item that you wish to use and give it a custom name. You can then add it to your payslips in the same way you would the system item of that type (Regular Inputs or Payslip Inputs).

Read our help page here for more information on creating custom items.

Updates in SimplePay for the 2019/2020 Tax Year

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.

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 2019, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2019/2020 period, as announced in the 2019 Budget Speech on 20 February 2019. If you are still processing payroll for the 2018/2019 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:

2019/2020 Tax Rates

The tax rates for individuals have remained the same as last year, with only the tax thresholds and rebates increasing.

Taxable Income (R)Rate of Tax (R)
0 – 195 85018% of taxable income
195 851 – 305 85035 253 + 26% of taxable income above 195 850
305 851 – 423 30063 853 + 31% of taxable income above 305 850
423 301 – 555 600100 263 + 36% of taxable income above 423 300
555 601 – 708 310147 891 + 39% of taxable income above 555 600
708 311 – 1 500 000207 448 + 41% of taxable income above 708 310
1 500 001 and above532 041 + 45% of taxable income above 1 500 000

The tax threshold has increased from R78 150 to R79 000 because the primary rebate has increased from R14 067 to R14 220.

Subsistence Allowance

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

  • The allowance for incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R128.00 to R134.00.
  • The allowance for meals and incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R416.00 to R435.00.

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

The Medical Aid Tax Credits have remained unchanged at R310 for the main member and first dependant and R209 for every additional dependant. Additionally no changes were announced for the common payroll components of Travel Allowance, UIF and SDL

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

Compensation Fund Workshop – Cape Town

From 13th  to 15th  February, the Directorate Employer Services of the Compensation Fund will be assisting payroll suppliers, employers and tax practitioners in Cape Town and its surrounding areas with the following matters:

1. Application for Change to the Nature of Business (sub-class change)

2. Online Registration for Employers

3. Information Required if selected for Audit

4. Return of Earnings Form (current and prior years).

Venue: Cape Town Labour Centre, Cnr Parade and Barack Street (22 Parade Street)

Date:  13 to 15 February 2019

Time: 08h00 to 15h00

Anyone who would like to, is welcome to attend.