Expansion of Custom Items Based on System Items

In March 2019 we announced a new feature that allows you to create customised items that follow the same tax and payroll rules as certain system items. It proved to be so popular amongst you, our users, that there were requests to allow for more system items to be customised. We’re happy to say that we have now expanded this feature to also include the following items:

  • Provident Fund
  • Subsistence Allowance Local
  • Subsistence Allowance International
  • Travel Allowance

Remember, this feature allows you to:

  1. Create multiple items of a certain type
  2. Customise the names of these items
  3. Map different versions of a specific type of item to different Xero accounts

How does it work?

When creating a custom item (Settings > Custom Items > Add), there is 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.

If you need assistance on this, please reach out to our support team who would be happy to help.

Team SimplePay

We’re App Partner of the Year Finalists


SimplePay is delighted and proud to announce that we have been chosen as a finalist for the App Partner of the Year: South Africa for the Xero Awards taking place in March 2020. Xero is the leading cloud-based accounting software in the market and we are honoured to be recognised for our integration and synergy.

As SimplePay uses the same approach to Xero integration in all our regions, you can be assured that you are receiving the same quality features no matter what region you are in. We aspire to be finalists in all regions when these awards are announced in the future. 

A huge thank you to our wonderful team. Your dedication and commitment to making SimplePay the best cloud-based payroll system for our customers has made this possible. And of course, an even bigger thank you to our customers. Without your support, loyalty and feedback, we wouldn’t be what we are. We look forward to continuing to serve your payroll needs.

To find out more about SimplePay’s integration with Xero, head over to our help page here.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Employee Leave Expiration

Introducing the latest system expansion from the SimplePay team: employee leave expiration for leave days carried over.

With our aim to give you the ultimate payroll experience, you can now customise your leave settings even further by specifying how long leave carried over from a previous
leave cycle remains valid for. For example, you might have a policy that any unused leave from 2019 may carry over to 2020, but if it is not used by the end of June 2020, it will expire and be forfeited.

This is usually done to ensure that your employees’ leave does not excessively accumulate and aligns with the BCEA, which requires leave to be taken within 6 months of the end of a cycle. In addition, by prompting employees to take their leave in due course, it leads to increased employee well-being which has long-term benefits for both employees and the company. Before implementing this on the system, ensure that it aligns with your company’s leave policy and your employees’ contracts to avoid any labour disputes.

To make use of this new feature on current policies, follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Leave.
  2. Click on View next to the leave type that you wish to edit.
  3. Under Available Entitlement Policies, click on View next to the entitlement policy that you wish to edit.
  4. If the Allow leave to be carried forward to next cycle? checkbox is set, there will now be an additional line that appears under it.
  5. In the new field , enter the number of months that leave must be held for before expiring.
  6. Click Save.

If you are creating a new leave policy, you will be able to follow the same process when creating the entitlement policy.

For more information on creating and editing leave entitlement policies, head over to our help page here.

Team SimplePay

Interim Filing Season Now Open

The Interim Employer Reconciliation filing season with SARS is now open and ends on 31 October 2019. The interim reconciliation covers the six-month transaction period from 1 March to 31 August 2019, and the final annual reconciliation in April/May 2020 will cover the full tax year.

During the reconciliation process, you are required to submit an EMP501 return confirming or correcting the amounts declared for PAYE, SDL, UIF and ETI, as well as the payments made. This ensures that your EMP201 submissions are correct and up-to-date. In addition, failure to complete the interim reconciliation means that you will forfeit any ETI credits that have overrun in the first 6 months and will therefore not receive any payouts for this.

Remember that SimplePay automatically generates the IRP5s / IT3(a)s and EMP501 needed for bi-annual filing with SARS. SimplePay also automatically incorporates any new legislative changes, such as new codes or tax rules, simplifying the filing process for you.

The reconciliation process can be completed using [email protected] (recommended) , eFiling (for less than 50 tax certificates), or at a SARS branch (for less than 5 certificates). Version 6.9.7 of [email protected] was released today, 23 September 2019. You can download it here and read up about the changes incorporated in the latest update
here. Please remember to back up your current information on your computer before installing a new version of [email protected]

For more information about the bi-annual filing process, refer to this help page. We also have a useful guide to take you through it step by step. The guide contains an important checklist which will help you eliminate unnecessary validation errors when trying to upload files to [email protected]

If you have any queries or need any assistance, please contact our support team.

Team SimplePay

CF Registration

In our last blog post, we informed you that the Compensation Fund is in the process of modernising its system, with the aim of developing an integrated online platform for clients. The first phase of the project involves developing a claims management system.

Registration

All users will need to be registered to be able to access this online platform. To register, you will first need the documents listed in the next section. You will then be able to do the following:

  • Pre-registration: You can submit all documents to [email protected] or your nearest Department of Labour office before the 25 September to pre-register for the system before it goes live. You will then have access to the system in the role that you applied for as soon as it goes live.
  • Regular registration: If you choose not to pre-register, you can register on the system after 1 October 2019. Please note that access is not immediately granted as the information supplied is first required to go through the vetting process.

Documents needed for registration

  • Company / Organisation registration document
  • ID document of the director(s) in the registration document
  • Certified ID or passport copy of the user who will be transacting
  • Approved User Application Form (provided)
  • Health Practice Registration Certificate from BHF, where the Health Provider is the primary users. It must have an ID number to prove that it belongs to Health Provider.
  • Proof of address for all primary users.
  • Power of Attorney letter for all users. It must be on the company letterhead, whose details correspond with the registration document.
  • PERSAL employee report (exempted employers)

Team SimplePay

Requesting Income Tax Numbers from Job Seekers

SARS have requested that employers amend their hiring practices as they do not require employees to have an income tax number before starting a new job.

SARS would like to encourage all employers to use online platforms to obtain income tax numbers. It will save employees and job seekers unnecessary time at branches, ultimately allowing you to hire faster and/or get new employees working productively sooner. It will also eliminate the administrative burden of having to follow up with new employees for tax numbers and avoid delays from being given the incorrect tax number.

If you’re a SimplePay user, you can obtain the tax numbers when doing bi-annual filing with our [email protected] export file. If you need more information about how easy bi-annual filing is with SimplePay, head over to the Filing and Processes section of our help site here. Importing the file from our system into [email protected] will automatically create employees on the [email protected] system if they are new employees. Then, use the ITREG function to obtain tax numbers for employees. This is explained in a clear step-by-step guide (with screenshots) in section 5 (page 105) here.

If you need further information or assistance with this process, be sure to be in touch with our support team who are happy to help.

Team SimplePay

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 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.

Team SimplePay

Override Payslip End Dates in Bulk

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:

We hope that this new feature enhances your payroll processing experience. If you have an annual shutdown in December, be sure to bookmark this blog post for use later in the year.

If you need any further assistance, please reach out to our support team.

Team SimplePay

Issues and Other Matters Arising From New eFiling

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.

See the following resources for more information:

Manage your user profile (paragraph 7.2 onwards)

Guide to the Auto Merge Function

(2) SARS eFiling Portfolios

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.

Team SimplePay

Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

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.

Team SimplePay