TERS Update: Appeals Process and Manual Bank Verification

Next week, on 6 April 2021, the UIF is due to open its appeals process for refused applications for the two extended TERS periods. (Read more about these periods here).

A common reason for applications being denied on the TERS portal is due to companies being registered with the wrong or no sector classification (SIC code). As eligibility is limited to certain sectors, a check is run against the SARS database. Unfortunately updating your SIC code with SARS will not fix this issue; instead the UIF has released an appeals process.

Appeals Process

If having received an error message, you believe this to be incorrect and that you are eligible to apply for the two TERS periods, the appeal process is as follows:

  • From 6 April, you can call the UIF hotline (0800 030 007) to lodge an appeal
  • The operator will verify your identity and send you a link to upload your appeal documents (see below).
  • Having uploaded your appeal documents, the UIF will review them and make a decision on your appeal.

The appeal documents are:

  • The Proforma (“COVID-19 TERS Extension – Motivation for Inclusion proforma” attached to UIF email, dated: 29 March 2021) – In this, you can detail why your business is part of one of the restricted sectors eligible for the extended periods, and how the COVID-19 regulations have affected your employees’ ability to work their normal hours. 
  • Supporting Documents – The proforma should be substantiated by supporting documents to show you practice in the SIC code stated. 

The UIF aims to make a decision and inform you of the result of your appeal within 5 working days. Thereafter you should be able to log onto the TERS portal within 72 hours to reapply. When you do this make sure you:

  1. Select the same business activity as you did previously; and
  2. Select “OTHER (APPROVED APPEALS)” on the main division sector.

The application should be the same as for previous periods and is detailed in this earlier blog post.

Bank Verification Process

The UIF has started reaching out by telephone to employers who have been unable to pass the automated bank verification process. If you have experienced such issues please stay vigilant for a call. 

To carry out the verification, the UIF will first ask you 5 security questions, before asking you to provide your latest bank confirmation letter (which must be dated within the last 3 months). This will be used to verify the following for comparison with the portal:

  • CIPC Number
  • Banking details
  • ID number
  • Trade Name

The UIF did not state in its letter how the confirmation letter is to be provided to them, but this should become clear when you are called. They anticipate a turnaround time of 14 working days.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on the above information you can contact the UIF on 0800 030 007. If you have any questions for SimplePay, you can reach us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well, stay safe and watch out for April fools jokes!

Team SimplePay

Budget Speech – 24 February 2021

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.

Our system will be up to date in time for next month in order to ensure that you are always compliant. We are pleased to inform you that from 1 March 2021, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2021 / 2022 period, as announced in the 2021 Budget Speech on 24 February 2021. If you are still processing payroll for the 2020 / 2021 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:

2021 / 2022 Tax Rates

The tax rates for individuals have remained the same as last year. However, government has increased the personal income tax brackets by 5% on average, which is above the rate of inflation (this being approximately 4%). In other words, all individual taxpayers will pay less income tax this year than in the previous year. 

Taxable Income (R)Rate of Tax (R)
1 – 216 20018% of taxable income
216 201 – 337 80038 916 + 26% of taxable income above 216 200
337 801 – 467 50070 532 + 31% of taxable income above 337 800
467 501 – 613 600110 739 + 36% of taxable income above 467 500
613 601 – 782 200163 335 + 39% of taxable income above 613 600
782 201 – 1 656 600229 089 + 41% of taxable income above 782 200
1 656 601 and above587 593 + 45% of taxable income above 1 656 600

All three categories of tax rebates (under 65 years old; 65 – 75 years old; and over 75) have increased by 5% from the previous year to the current year under the budget. 

The tax threshold has increased from R83 100 to R87 300, translating to the primary rebate increasing from R14 958 to R15 714. 

In addition to the primary rebate, the secondary rebate and tertiary rebates have been increased to R8 613 and R2 871 respectively. 

Medical Aid Tax Credit

The amount that can be deducted due to medical aid tax credit has increased as follows:

  • The tax credit for the main member and first dependant has increased from R319 to R332 per month.
  •  For every additional dependant, the tax credit has increased from R215 to R224 per month.

UIF Contributions

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contribution ceiling was announced to be increasing from R14 872,00 to R17 711,58 per month. UIF is calculated as 2% of an employee’s remuneration for UIF purposes, split equally between the employer and employee. Remuneration for UIF purposes is the employee’s remuneration, less certain exclusions such as commission. Under the budget speech, the maximum UIF contribution for each party is, therefore, R177,11 a month (R354,22 in total). 

Despite the announcement in the budget speech of this proposed change, for it to be effected, the alteration to the monthly UIF contribution limit needs to be published in the Government Gazette. Therefore, this change is not yet effective and shouldn’t be reflected on payroll.

The SimplePay Team has received confirmation from a reliable source that the UIF contribution ceiling change will be postponed. As such, we will continue to apply the original UIF contribution ceiling threshold of R14 872 until such a time as the increase has been confirmed to be effective. 

Subsistence Allowance

The ‘tax free’ portion of Subsistence Allowance* has remained unchanged at R139,00 for incidental costs within South Africa, and R452,00 for meals and incidental costs within South Africa.

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

Travel Allowances

  • The rate per kilometre for reimbursive travel allowances remains unchanged at 398 cents (R3, 98).
  • The rates per kilometre which may be used in determining the allowable deduction for business travel against an allowance or advance where actual costs are not claimed, are outlined in the following SARS table:
Value of the vehicle (R)Fixed cost(R p.a.)Fuel cost(c/km)Maintenance cost(c/km)
0 – 95 00031 332105, 837, 4
95 001 – 190 00055 894118, 146, 8
190 001 – 285 00080 539128, 351, 6
285 001 – 380 000102 211138, 056, 4
380 001 – 475 000123 955147, 766, 2
475 001 – 570 000146 753169, 477, 8
570 001 – 665 000169 552175, 196, 6
665 001 and above169 552175, 196, 6

Non-Payroll Related

Section 12J Tax Incentive

The scheme, introduced in 2008 and which allowed taxpayers to invest in start-up companies in lieu of paying income tax, is set to expire on 30 June 2021. You can find more information on the rationale behind the winding up of this incentive on pages 48 and 49 of the budget speech

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information provided relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

National Minimum Wage Increase

Our blog post today covers the recently Gazetted national minimum wage increases, due to come into force on 1 March 2021. The changes bring an increase in the minimum wage for both the sector-specific wages and the national minimum wage.

The minimum wages from 1 March will be as follows:

National Minimum WageR21.69
Farm Workers Minimum WageR21.69
Domestic Workers Minimum WageR19.09
Public Works Program Minimum WageR11.93

Please note also that the minimum wage for Learners has been increased by 4.5% across all NQF levels.

The minimum wages for farm and domestic workers have significantly increased in comparison to last year (see 2020’s blog post), reflecting the Government’s aim to equalise all minimum wages over time.

Should any of your employees be on or near the current minimum wage, you should increase their hourly rate to at least meet the above amounts from next month. This is particularly important if you are benefiting from ETI for those employees, as this is a requirement to qualify for the incentive and the penalties for breaching the rules are severe.

As you know, we like to make your payroll a breeze. If you want to quickly check all your employees’ wages in one go, simply navigate to:

  • Employees > Bulk Actions > Regular Inputs (under Payroll Inputs)
  • From the dropdown boxes, select “Basic Salary” and either “Hourly Paid” or “Salaried”
  • Your employees and their hourly rate / salaries will be listed for you to review and amend as you deem necessary.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

SARS’ SMME Feedback Survey

Is your business a Small, Medium or Micro Enterprise (SMME)? We write to you today about an opportunity for you to give input on any tax related pain points or bottlenecks that you’ve experienced.

SARS is currently performing a study on the effectiveness of the current tax legislation, policies and incentives from the point of view of SMMEs, in order to help influence future legislative changes.

If you would like to complete a survey in relation to this, you can do so by following this link.

SARS has given assurances that the survey is confidential. For any enquiries or feedback, they have also provided this number: 082 4667105.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

UIF Payment Process Relaxed

At the end of last month, the UIF announced that it will be cutting away some of the red tape to help prevent labour centre queues spreading COVID-19.

The UIF now intends to deal directly with employers, who’ll need to collect retrenched employees’ benefit applications and supporting documents for the UIF. While the Department of Labour refines the new processes that they’ll use, you can expect to receive follow-ups to your submission.

To help reduce the number of people going to labour centres, the UIF has implemented the following measures:

  • Individuals enrolled for UIF benefits will not need to go to the department for a monthly continuation form. This will instead be calculated from the previous month’s statistics.
  • Application status updates will be provided to individuals by SMS, removing the need to follow up in person.
  • The UIF is setting up a USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) service, to facilitate faster access to information.

You can read the UIF’s media statement here.

We hope that this information has proved helpful to you. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

President’s 11 January Speech and TERS Disputes Procedure

As the country eases into 2021, the President’s speech on 11 January made it clear that COVID-19, and the resulting restrictions, will remain a part of day-to-day life in 2021. The blog post today looks to give a brief overview of the adjusted level 3 regulations from a business perspective and also flags the TERS disputes process.

Adjusted Level 3

The main change that the President announced in his most recent speech was that South Africa’s land borders will be closed until 15 February. Exceptions apply for goods, repatriation and medical supplies, meaning that this change is likely to mainly impact the tourism and leisure industry.

The above is in addition to the measures announced on 28 December, all of which remain in place.

Below is a table summarising some of the key restrictions to businesses under adjusted level 3 at this point in time.

Non-Hotspot AreasHotspot Areas
Curfew21:00 – 05:00 daily21:00 – 05:00 daily
Business closing timesNon-essential stores close at 20:00*Non-essential stores close at 20:00*
GatheringsAll uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses permitted which are permitted to be open is allowed, in line with the occupancy limitations.All uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses permitted which are permitted to be open is allowed, in line with the occupancy limitations.
Beaches, dams, lakes and riversOpen between 6:00 – 19:00 dailyClosed
Businesses that must remain closedPublic parks, public swimming pools, clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, Public parks, public swimming pools, clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, 
Sale and distribution of alcoholNot permittedNot permitted

*List of establishments which must close by 20:00: Cinemas; theatres; casinos; museums, galleries and archives; gyms and fitness centres; restaurants; venues hosting auctions; and venues hosting professional sport.

At this point in time, the only material difference between hotspot and non-hotspot areas is access to beaches, dams, lakes and rivers. The reasoning behind this is that the number of people at any one of these locations cannot easily be regulated or controlled. 

You can find a list of the areas designated as hotspots and the adjusted level 3 Regulations on the Government website.

TERS Dispute Resolution Process

On Friday 8 January, as an employer you should have received an email from the UIF, titled “UIF-TERS – Update letter”. The update letter lays out the process that you can follow if you believe the UIF has not performed one or more of its contractual obligations with you contained in your memorandum of association with them.

The letter highlights that this route is only for disputes and not for enquiries, such as failed bank verifications.

To lodge a formal dispute:

  1. Complete the Dispute Form (attached to the 8 January email, sender: [email protected]a)
  2. Attach any relevant supporting documentation
  3. Email the completed dispute form with attachments to [email protected], with the subject as “COVID-19 TERS Dispute – [Your UIF Reference Number]”

We hope that this information has proved useful. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

TERS Update Blog: 22 December 2020

Our blog post today draws your attention to our new FAQ, based on the UIF’s TERS update letters from 15 and 18 December 2020. As TERS draws to a close, these letters, and therefore our FAQs, provide information relevant to the 16 September to 15 October application period. They also cover information on correcting earlier periods’ applications, yet to be accepted and / or processed.

You can find our FAQs on this help site page. The FAQs are:

We hope that the FAQ proves useful. If you have any questions on how the above information relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

President’s Speech – 14 December 2020

Last night the President addressed the nation for the second time this month on the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and how the Government plans to counter them. Some of the new rules announced are particularly important for businesses, so these are what the blog post today focuses on.

Masks and Social Distancing

The authorities are going to be more active in enforcing compliance with measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. You as managers and business owners are now responsible for ensuring that employees and customers entering your premises or vehicle are wearing masks.

Failure to enforce these rules on your employees or customers could expose you to fines or even six (6) months imprisonment.

Gatherings

Some of the key points on changes to permitted gatherings are as follows:

  • Gatherings are limited to 250 people outdoors or 100 people indoors.
  • All gatherings need to provide ventilation and hand sanitiser, as well as practice social distancing and mask wearing.
  • Certain hotspots for gatherings will be fully or partially closed across the festive season (16 December 2020 to 3 January 2021). Fully closed areas currently include the Eastern Cape and Garden Route.
  • Beaches and parks that aren’t closed will be open between 9am and 6pm.

It is important that you keep up to date with the latest news on any restrictions as rules are subject to change, dependent on increase or decrease of transmission in a region.

Hospitality and Goods

As the President suggested a second wave is possible, the focus of the Government is to try and maintain economic activity, whilst limiting the spread of the virus. This is reflected in the restrictions and rules that have been placed on the hospitality and tourism sectors.

The new rules are:

  • There is a national curfew between 11pm and 4am.
  • Restaurants and bars must close by 10pm to allow staff time to return home before curfew.
  • Alcohol can be sold in shops Monday to Thursday, between 10am and 6pm
  • Vineyards and wine tastings may resume on the weekends and may include purchases for offsite consumption. 

Although the above restrictions may limit your business, it is encouraging that emphasis is being placed on keeping the wheels of the economy turning.

You can read the President’s full speech by following this link.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. As always, if you need to get in touch with a member of the team, you can contact us at [email protected]

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

TERS Updates for September October Applications

Update 1 December 2020: Minister Nxesi has announced that the September / October TERS period will be the last of the scheme. To read the Government Gazette, follow this link.

Hello and welcome to another TERS update blog post. Our information today is taken from the UIF’s most recent update letters, which announced a post-verification audit and highlighted an issue with some applications for the most recent application period. You can read more about the 16 September to 15 October TERS application period in this recent blog post

Post Verification Audit

The UIF has announced that audits of the TERS process will begin from 1 December 2020 and will last for an estimated period of six (6) months. The audits are to be completed by a number of named companies with expertise in this area. This is in line with the Memorandum of Agreement you signed to be able to partake in the TERS scheme.

The UIF requests that you keep at least the following information readily available in hard or electronic format in case you are contacted:

  • UIF COVID TERS application pack 
    • There should be an application pack for each period which you applied to, containing the documents which you submitted;
  • Bank statements relating to your COVID TERS application(s);
  • Each employee’s HR file;
  • *Payroll report from 1 January 2020 to July 2020;*
  • Proof of payment to your employees; and
  • Proof of any refunds to the UIF (if applicable).

*Thankfully, by using SimplePay all of your payroll information is in one centralised location! We hope that this helps you with any prospective bookkeeping which may follow.

NOTE: The information listed above contains personally sensitive information for both you and your employees. Because of this we would recommend that you verify the credentials of anyone who may contact you in this respect.

Issue with SOME September / October TERS Applications

The UIF has announced that some applications received for the 16 September to 15 October period, submitted before 10AM on Wednesday 25 November 2020 did not meet their system’s requirements. As a result, they have been rejected and if this applies to you, you will need to resubmit. The UIF won’t notify you if you fall within this set of applications, so if in any doubt you should check your application status.

This issue does not apply if you applied using SimplePay’s CSV, but if you have made applications manually, this may affect the employees for whom this was done. 

Whether you submitted via CSV or manually, we recommend you log in to your TERS profile and look for the September / October applications in the Saved Employees section. If your applications appear then your submission is deemed to be correct and you don’t need to resubmit. 

If you cannot find your applications for the September / October period, you must resubmit for your employees to receive TERS benefits for this period.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

TERS Application Period for September / October Open

We are happy to start the blog today with news that applications for TERS benefits for the period of 16 September to 15 October are now open. We mentioned this previously in our blog post on the President’s national address, but we can now provide you with more details.

The application period opened yesterday, 23 November and runs until 31 December 2020. The eligibility criteria remain the same as for the 16 August to 15 September period, with more information available on this here. As always, you need to make the claim via the TERS portal and upload the relevant documents along with your application.

First Time Applicants

It is still possible for you to apply for TERS for the first time, but it should be noted that you will only be able to apply for the 16 September to 15 October period. If you wish to claim, you’ll need to activate your profile online as soon as possible on the TERS portal, following the instructions to sign the Memorandum of Association and Letter of Undertaking.

If you experience any difficulty you can call the UIF on 0800 030 007. They will provide you with a reference number, which can be used as evidence of your efforts to comply if your submission is late. 

Bank Verification

Our last blog post on TERS covered in detail many of the problems that have arisen through the bank verification steps. If you are continuing to experience any issues with bank verification, that post may provide a useful port of call. 

As the bank verification process is fully automated, the details you provide have to exactly match those that the bank has. If in any doubt, please contact your bank to make sure that the details you input are correct.

Digital UI-19

The UIF has stated that It is ceasing to process manual UI-19 submissions. In its place, the UIF has introduced an online equivalent called Digital UI19. The aim of this is to streamline their operations and reduce the amount of manual inputting on their side.

SimplePay users, no need to be alarmed! With the exception of foreign employees, who have to be submitted separately for TERS, if you are a part of SimplePay we enable you to generate and send  your UIF submissions from the SimplePay site. Easy, we know. This in turn means you don’t have to manually input data and can avoid the dreaded typo!

Because of this, you can read the following explanation on Digital UI19 safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to get to grips with new software. 

So… Digital UI19, what is it?

Digital UI19 provides a way for employers to fill in an online spreadsheet with the relevant information, download it and then send it to the UIF, where it will be automatically processed. To us this sounds like a lot of extra typing. You could nonetheless do this and brush up on your touch typing (yawn)…

… or you could start / continue using SimplePay, make payroll a breeze and treat yourself with all that time you’ve saved!

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay