2019 Employer Annual Reconciliation Filing Season

The 2019 Employer Annual Reconciliation filing season will soon be opening on 17 April 2019 (it is usually 1 April but has been delayed due to system upgrades at SARS). You have until 31 May 2019 to submit your Annual Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) for the period 1 March 2018 – 28 February 2019 to SARS.

SimplePay automatically generates the IRP5s / IT3(a)s and EMP501 needed for year-end filing with SARS and these are available under the Filing section of the menu. Submissions of your EMP501 can be done via eFiling or the [email protected] application. You may need to update your [email protected] application to the latest version, 6.9.4. This can be done 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]

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

Team SimplePay

Change in Tax Rules for Bargaining Council Funds

As of 1 March 2019, all contributions made by employers to funds provided by Bargaining Councils should be treated as a fringe benefit and are therefore subject to tax. These funds include, but are not limited to sick and holiday funds for employees that belong to the Bargaining Council. Note that if the fund administered by the Bargaining Council is a retirement fund, the taxation rules for retirement funds that are effective from 1 March 2016 (and that provide for a tax deduction to reduce the taxable benefit value) are applied.

In some instances, both you (the employer) and the employee contribute to the fund. The taxable fringe benefit is equal to your contribution and should now be reported on the IRP5/IT3(a) under the following new codes:

  • 4584: Employer contributions to a Bargaining Council Fund
  • 3833: Taxable benefit iro Employer contributions to a Bargaining Council Fund

Employee-paid contributions do not impact PAYE (they are not tax deductible) and therefore are not reported.

What action do you need to take?

If you set up these contributions using a Custom Employer Contribution item, you need to update this custom item on your payroll or Bargaining Council template to a Custom Benefit item.  This will ensure that the contribution is treated as a taxable fringe benefit.

A new checkbox has been added which allows you to indicate that the Custom Benefit item is a Bargaining Council Item. This ensures that the new tax codes are applied to the custom item.

If you have many companies and need to automate this process, please get in touch with our Support team to discuss possible solutions.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Team SimplePay

ETI Changes to Remuneration Brackets

ETI is aimed at reducing youth unemployment by providing a tax incentive to employers who hire young workers aged 18 to 29. It was meant to end on 28 February 2019, with no further tax credits being granted. However, towards the end of 2018 it was confirmed that, due to the success of ETI, it would be extended until 2029.

As of 1 March 2019, the ETI remuneration brackets have also been amended to account for inflation. Employers must still pay employees who work 160 hours per month a minimum of R2 000 in order to claim ETI. However, the maximum that employees can earn and still qualify for ETI has now increased to R6 500 (from R6 000). As a result of this increase, the R2 001 – R4 000 bracket has also been amended. Employers can claim a R1 000 tax credit per month for the first 12 months for employees earning R2 000 to R4 500.

The new remuneration brackets are as follows:

Monthly
Remuneration
ETI monthly tax credit
in first 12 months
of employment
ETI monthly tax credit
in second 12 months
of employment
R2 001 – R4 500R1 000R500
R4 501 – R6 500R1 000 – [0.5 x
(Monthly Remuneration
– R4 500)]
R1 000 – [0.25 x
(Monthly Remuneration
– R4 500) ]

As always, we take the hassle out of payroll for you and have already updated the system to reflect these changes.

If you have any questions regarding ETI, read more on our help page here. Alternatively, contact our friendly support team.

Team SimplePay



New Feature! Custom Employee Info Fields

You were onto something! Thanks to your suggestions on ways of making SimplePay even greater, we are happy to announce our newest feature! While we have built our system on simplicity and compliance, we understand that sometimes you have unique needs. Our new feature therefore gives you the ability to add your own fields to an employee’s Basic Info screen.

Want to capture an employee’s nickname or cellphone number? Add a custom “Text” field.

Want to record the date that employees completed their orientation training? Add a custom “Date” field.

Want to record an employee’s marital status? Add a custom “Dropdown” field with options to select from.

You can now capture the information that you want, with added features coming soon!

To learn more about how this functionality works, head over to our help page here.

We’d love to hear from you if this feature enhances your payroll experience. In addition, if you have any trouble with this new feature or would like some further guidance, please reach out to our friendly support team who would be happy to help.

Team SimplePay

Increased COIDA Threshold

The Minister of Labour announced in Government Gazette No. 42092 that there would be an increase in the OID earnings threshold
under Section 83 (8) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act no. 130 of 1993).

As from 1 March 2019, the maximum amount on which an assessment of an employer shall be calculated on will be R458 520.

This change has been made effective in your OID report on SimplePay. To access this report, go to Filing > OID (Workman’s Comp) Return.

When downloading the report for the tax year ending 28-02-2019, the threshold of R430 944 for 2018/2019 will be displayed as the 2019 tax year cap, while the new threshold of R458 520 will be displayed under the 2020 tax year cap.

When downloading the report for the tax year ending 28-02-2020, both caps will be displayed as R458 520, as the cap for 2020/2021 has not yet been announced.

Team SimplePay

National Minimum Wage Act

In an effort to address wage inequality and stimulate economic growth, president Cyril Ramaphosa signed the national minimum wage bill into law last month.

The National Minimum Wage Act stipulates that the minimum wage is to be administered on an hourly basis and is set at R20 per hour. This minimum wage will be effective from 1 January 2019.

This means that the hourly rate will need to be changed for employees who are currently earning a wage lower than R20 per hour. To review or edit the hourly rate for employees, go to Employees > Bulk Actions > Regular Inputs and select “Basic Salary” and “Hourly Paid” under Filters.

Remember that a change in the ordinary hourly wage will also impact the rate for Sunday pay and public holiday pay. For more information on these, refer to our help page here.

Impact on ETI

The ETI Act states that when there is no “wage regulating measure”, the minimum wage to qualify for ETI is R2 000 per month. SARS has confirmed that the national minimum wage does not count as a wage regulating measure and the R2 000 minimum stands. However, the national minimum wage should ensure that employees will meet this minimum anyway.

Proposals have been made by professional bodies to amend the ETI Act to clarify this and to replace the R2 000 minimum on ETI with a use of the national minimum wage, but this potential change has not yet been approved.

If you have any further queries regarding the impact of this Act on your payroll and on the system, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Team SimplePay

 

Option Added for Taxing Company Car at 100%

If you have an employee with a company car, the following options for taxing the fringe benefit are available on SimplePay:

  • Taxable at 80% if the employee uses the company car for less than 80% for business purposes.
  • Taxable at 20% if the employee uses the company car for more than 80% for business purposes.

This is often referred to as the SARS 80/20 rule, which outlines that employees with company cars and travel allowances are taxed either 80% or 20% based on the proportion of use for business purposes.

However, some employees have company cars that are used only for private purposes (in other words, it is not used for business at all). This means that on assessment, the fringe benefit for the company car will be 100% taxable by SARS.

To avoid the employee having to pay in tax, some employers used the Voluntary Tax Over-Deduction system item to deduct additional tax. However, this requires a manual calculation of the additional tax that the employee should pay. To make this process easier, we have now added additional functionality to the Company Car system item. When adding a company car under Regular Inputs, there is now an option to select “100%”  as the Taxable Percentage.

For more information on the Company Car system item, refer to our help page here.

We hope that this new functionality makes payroll even more effortless and we continue working towards making payroll simpler and easier for you.

Team SimplePay

Interest Rate Change for Employer Loans

The South African Reserve Bank has decided to increase the repurchase rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points, effective from 23 November 2018.

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 increases from 7.5% to 7.75%, effective 23 November 2018.

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 23 November onwards will use the new interest rate. If a payslip dated after 23 November was finalised before the 23 November (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 23 November, 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

ETI Changes for Special Economic Zones

As from  1 August 2018, the criteria for employees who qualify for ETI have been amended for those working in Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

What are Special Economic Zones (SEZs)?

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) within South Africa are geographically designated areas set aside for specifically targeted economic activities to promote national economic growth and export. This is achieved through support measures to attract foreign and domestic investments and technology.  The 6 SEZs are:

  1. Coega
  2. Dube Trade Port
  3. East London
  4. Maluti-A-Phofung
  5. Saldanha Bay
  6. Richards Bay

What changed?

If employers and employers work within a SEZ there is no longer an age limit for employees who qualify for ETI. For the age qualifying test to fall away, the following two requirements must be satisfied:

  1. The employer must have a fixed place of business within one of the 6 designated SEZs, and
  2. The employee must render services to that employer mainly within a SEZ.

If you operate within a SEZ and would like to apply these changes on SimplePay, check out our updated ETI help page here.

Team SimplePay

Feature Highlight: Copy First Value Down

Today we’d like to highlight a useful feature on the system that many users are not aware of. The Copy first value down feature makes capturing repetitive data for employees much faster. The following example explains how it works:

Bob has 7 employees who are hourly paid. All employees work the same number of hours each month, but the number of hours worked differ from month to month.

To capture these hours quickly for a particular month, Bob can:

  • Go to Employees > Bulk Actions > Payslip Inputs.
  • Use the filters to locate the fields that he wishes to capture information for.
  • Enter the hours for the first employee.

  • Click on the arrow next to the column name and select Copy First Value Down.

  • All hours have been copied down. If Bob is happy with this, he can click Save. If one employee did not work the same amount of hours as the rest, he can change it just for that employee.

It’s as simple as that!

Found this article useful? Let us know in the comments section below and we will be sure to highlight more features like this in the future.