TERS: Updates and Clarifications

The blog post today is aimed at trying to provide some much needed clarity on the TERS process. These changes, as outlined in a recent UIF update letter, were first introduced in our blog post from 5 October. The content of this blog post is taken from and summarises the UIF’s official update letter dated 14 October, sent to all employers.

Our post today covers:

  1.  how to determine salary and remuneration paid on applications;
  2.  the finer details of the bank verification step;
  3.  an update on foreign national applications; and
  4.  a reminder of how to end service on SimplePay.

1.a – How to Determine the Correct Monthly Salary to Declare

The monthly salary column of your TERS CSV, should reflect the aggregate of the wage and fringe benefits you pay to each of your employees. As SimplePay pre-populates this column, provided your employee’s salary information is correct, there’s nothing further to worry about. It is worth noting that if this value is not accurate, the UIF has introduced a new verification step.

The UIF is cross referencing the “taxable earnings” value for your employees’ March 2020 uFiling submission, in order to ensure that salaries are not inflated. If the values differ, the lower value will be used for the calculation of TERS benefits.

This is not a retrospective change, meaning it will only be applied to applications that have been processed from 3 September onwards. The change will though apply to all applications past this date, regardless of the lockdown period to which they relate. Unfortunately, even if you had legitimate reasons for increasing an employee’s salary, there is no way to apply to receive the higher sum that this would yield. 

1.b – What is the Correct Value for Remuneration?

To answer this question, it helps to take one step back. An employee is entitled to TERS benefits where he or she earns a reduced salary due to:

  • business closure;
  • comorbidities (an illness which puts the employee at an increased risk);
  • reduced working hours; or
  • having to take a temporary reduction of salary due to operational requirements.

Any of your employees satisfying the above can receive TERS benefits. Importantly though, where your employees receive remuneration in addition to TERS benefits for any given period, this needs to be recorded. This is because the aggregate of the TERS payment, plus the reduced remuneration paid by you cannot be greater than the amount the employee would ordinarily earn. Because of this, it’s important you know what falls under remuneration.

The UIF has clarified that all amounts / payslip components that would normally count as remuneration are included, except for loans, advances and payments related to leave taken.

2. Bank Verification

As part of the improvements to the TERS process, bank verification steps have been introduced. To help avoid delays it is important that you provide correct banking information. 

Some of the most common reasons for the failure of bank verification include:

  • The incorrect Personal ID number is used. This should be that of the bank account holder. If it is a joint account, you should ensure that it is the primary holder’s ID used.
  • If the bank account is held in a trade name, it is important that it matches the bank account’s name. 
    • If the bank account includes special characters, these should be used
    • Do not include any “t/a” sections of the bank account information
    • If the account’s name is in Afrikaans, this is how it should appear

Single Bank Account for Several UIF Entities

If you have several companies that pay into one bank account and you wish to claim TERS benefits to all the employees of the different companies, you will need to use the “Trade Name Verification” option to verify these UIF entities.

On the TERS portal, you will need to change all of your companies’ names to match the company name stated on the bank account. This will mean that you will have more than one UIF entity with the same name on the TERS portal, but also allows you to apply for benefits for all employees.

If you are at all unsure about this we would encourage you to get in touch with the UIF on 0800 030 007.

3. Foreign Nationals Update

The UIF has said that it’s currently working with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the foreign nationals. No payments will be made until the UIF has verified individuals’ identities, but it hopes it will manage this within the next fortnight.

Foreign nationals must be declared via uFiling, regardless of whether you submitted their declarations to the UIF using SimplePay.

How To Change Existing Applications

If you now realise that there’s an issue with one or more of your applications, this can be done using the UIF’s discrepancy function. Corrections can only be made once per employee, per application period so it’s crucial that you make the amendments carefully and accurately.

The discrepancy functionality is open for claims made up to and including the July / August application period, and will open in due course for the later lockdown periods.

How To End Service on SimplePay

It is important to correctly reflect your employees’ current working status on SimplePay for several reasons. Having this information allows:

  • SimplePay to provide you with accurate auto filled TERS CSVs;
  • you to make correct submissions to SARS;
  • Your employees to claim UIF where necessary; and 
  • Reduces your monthly charge to the number of active employees

To allow for SimplePay to provide you with accurate auto filled TERS CSVs, make correct submissions to SARS and reduce your monthly premium to an appropriate amount, it is important to correctly reflect your employees’ current status on SimplePay.

For a reminder of how to end an employee’s service on SimplePay, you can read this previous blog post.

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 try out our service free? You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here, get to grips with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or try our free online course. Concerned about cost? Don’t be; we’ve simplified that too – check out our pricing page. Alternatively, you can request a formal quote if you need one here.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Repayment of the 35% PAYE Deferral

If you participated in the 35% PAYE deferral during the COVID-19 lockdown period, you may be aware that the first instalment is due this month. SARS has recently issued the following additional important information:

  • The first instalment must be paid separately from your usual monthly EMP201 payment.
  • The first instalment must make use of a separate reference number, referred to as the Payment Reference Number (PRN). This differs from your usual SARS reference number used for EMP201 payments.

Locating Your Reference Number and Amount Owed

It is important to note that Payment Reference Number (PRN) will be different from your EMP201 reference number for October. It’s crucial that you use the correct reference number, so that your payment matches with SARS’ records.

To find your PRN, first locate your Statement of Account on eFiling and in the row relating to October you should be able to see the label “COVID-19 INSTALMENT” (marked below with a red “A”).

The column to the right should contain the amount owed for October’s instalment, the column to the left contains the PRN / Transaction Reference.

Payment

Provided that you use the PRN, payments can be made to SARS via the normal means.

To pay the instalment on eFiling,  you need to use the PRN when making the payment for the amount. If you are at all unsure about how to do this, we would encourage you to get in contact with SARS to confirm on 0800 00 7277. 

Alternatively, you can make the payment by EFT using the “SARS-PAYE” public beneficiary option on your online banking platform. If unsure on what this is your bank should be able to assist you. Again, you will need to use the PRN on the statement of account as the reference for the transaction.

Going forward

SARS’ statement suggested that changes may be made before the next instalment falls due on 6 November. Hopefully this will combine the sums owed from your EMP201 submission and instalment, streamlining this process.

You can read the SARS notice released on 6 October here.

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]

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

TERS Update and September Recap

Another month has passed by meaning that it is time to reflect on September’s events, as well as see what October has to offer. September has been an eventful month, with the country entering level 1 of lockdown and so triggering a number of changes. This is a good thing, providing more freedom for businesses to reopen and recover. 

In our blog today we will be giving you updates on some of  the changes brought about by level 1 of lockdown, as well as updates on the TERS process after its recent rehaul.

TERS Update

Update 5 October: Due to a water leak, the office running TERS operations is experiencing some downtime. They expect the issue to be resolved by the end of today.

Since our last blog covering the TERS process on 15 September, the UIF has significantly updated its safeguards. The process had to be halted in order for the UIF, now headed by acting commissioner Marsha Bronkhurst, to address the findings of the auditor general. 

On 21 September, after a two week pause, the UIF restarted its newer and better constituted TERS process. A key change is better bank verification, where you can opt to use your company’s CIPC / CK number, RSA ID number or the trade name which is linked to the account. 

You should be careful to ensure that the information you enter exactly matches the bank’s records. The UIF has advised that the verification steps won’t take place till you’re next due to receive payment, meaning that unless instructed otherwise by a notification on your TERS profile, any amendments you’ve made are either still to be checked or are correct.

Applications for 16 August to 15 September

Applications for TERS benefits between 16 August and 15 September opened last Thursday (1 October 2020). Before applying you must ensure that your employees were still eligible for TERS benefits during this period, i.e. 16 August to 15 September.

For more information on the application period and eligibility requirements, you can read this Department of Employment and Labour media statement.

Duration of the TERS scheme

The COVID-19 TERS Direction from 7 September 2020 gave us some clarity on how long this support will last. In summary, based off this Direction, TERS will come to a conclusion either:

  • When South Africa is no longer under a national state of disaster (currently due to end on 15 October); or
  • When the Minister announces its conclusion on an earlier date.

Level 1 – Effect on Businesses

The key effect of level 1 is that it allows almost all normal commercial activity to resume. Below we have summarised some of the key changes that affect economic activity.

Gatherings

Provided that the safety measures are followed, gatherings are now permitted up to 50% of a venue’s capacity. This is up to a maximum of 250 people for an indoor venue, or 500 people for an outdoor venue. 

An owner or operator of a venue where gatherings are held must display a certificate of occupancy, listing the maximum number of people permitted. The certificates are provided by your local municipality, meaning that you should be able to find out how to get one from their website.

Travel

Level 1 brings extremely positive news if you operate in the hospitality and travel industries. From 1 October, international travel is permitted, both into and from South Africa for business and leisure. We hope that this will provide a boost in business after what must have been an extremely trying time.

For travel by air, this is subject to the travellers country of origin not being on the red list, in addition to other safety measures such as the traveller providing a negative test upon arrival which is less than 72 hours old.

All 18 land borders are now open, subject to safety requirements and border post limitations. All docks are now also open, but passenger liners for luxury travel are still prohibited to disembark.

We hope that the timing of this change has been a good one and that October will mark a revival in your business.

You can find more information about travel restrictions on this Government page, under Alert level 1.

Economic Activity

Providing that all the relevant health protocols, social distancing measures, occupational health and safety direction and sector-specific health protocols are met, businesses can carry out economic activity. We hope that this is a positive and meaningful change for your business, that will help speed your recovery over the coming months.

Unfortunately the return to business is not universal. The  following list of activities are still not permitted at the date of writing:

  • Night vigils
  • Night clubs.
  • The 35 land borders that remain closed.
  • Initiation practices.
  • Passenger ships for international leisure purposes.
  • Attendance of any sporting event by spectators.
  • International sports events.
  • Exclusions relating to public transport services as set out in the directions issued by the Cabinet member responsible for transport.
  • Exclusions relating to education services as set out in the directions

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 try out our service on the house? You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. Get to grips with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or trying our free online course. Concerned about cost? Don’t be; we’ve simplified that too – check out our pricing page. Alternatively, you can request a formal quote if you need one here.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Filing Reminder and TERS Update

In the blog today we are writing to remind you about both the interim employer reconciliation and the individual income tax return deadlines, in addition to an update on COVID-19 TERS. Both of the filing submission periods are now open and we recommend that you complete your submissions in good time to avoid any complications.

Employer Interim Filing Season

This year the employer interim reconciliation submission period will run between 14 September and 31 October 2020. Within this period you will need to submit your EMP501 return and your employees’ IRP5 / IT3(a)s to consolidate the period between 1 March and 31 August.

As mentioned in our previous blog post, SimplePay automatically generates these forms from your previous submissions, with all the latest legislative changes taken account of. All you need to do is log onto [email protected] or eFiling and submit the required forms. It really is that easy!

Manual Individual Income Tax Return 

If you have already completed SARS new auto assessment process in August, as covered in this blog post, then you have already met your obligations and don’t need to do anything further. This reminder applies to you if you rejected or did not receive an auto assessment from SARS, but need to complete an individual income tax return.

If this is you, the submission period for individual income tax returns is between 1 September and 16 November 2020 if you are filing online. You can log into eFiling or the SARS Mobi App to complete your manual return.

COVID-19 TERS Update

The past few weeks have been challenging for the UIF with respect to COVID-19 TERS. The audit carried out showed a number of shortcomings in the validation steps for applications, which led to various misallocations of funds. As a result payments were halted on 11 September and access to the TERS portal was down over the past weekend to maintain and improve the process’s safeguards. The resumption of the payouts is yet to be announced, but we shall endeavour to let you know when this happens.

An additional point of note is that for those that meet the application requirements, TERS benefits have been extended to 15 September. The application deadline for this period is 30 October, after which no new applications will be accepted.

For all other application periods i.e. March to 15 August, the deadline for new applications is 17 September.

Update 16 September: The closing dates for new have been changed  as follows:

 New applications for March to end of May the deadline is now 25 September 2020. 

New applications for June the deadline is now 15 October 2020.

New Applications for July to 15 September the deadline is now 30 October 2020.

The media statements on the audit findings can be found here and the announcement of an extension to COVID-19 TERS can be found here.

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 try out our service on the house? You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. Get to grips with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or trying our free online course. Concerned about cost? Don’t be; we’ve simplified that too – check out our pricing page. Alternatively, you can request a formal quote if you need one here.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Extension of PAYE Deferment and Interim Employer Filing Reminder

There has long been a question mark over whether the Government is going to extend the duration of the 35% PAYE deferment to support the ongoing challenges that businesses face. We had been waiting for the release of the Government gazette to confirm this, but as it is now 7 September we want to inform you of the possibility that your PAYE liability may be reduced on this month’s Statement of Account from SARS.

In the blog post today we’ll explain what this extension would mean and change, as well as providing you with a brief reminder of the upcoming employer interim reconciliation period.

35% PAYE Deferment Update

In addition to the Government’s announcement extending COVID-19 TERS (covered in this blog post), they are now also expected to extend the 35% PAYE deferment to include the month of August. This might mean when you complete your monthly filing today, the amount of PAYE you have to pay in your monthly EMP201 return may automatically be reduced by 35%. EMP201s should be generated and submitted as normal on SimplePay, with the full amount of liability stated, then SARS will reduce the amount owed by the corresponding amount.

The value of this additional month’s deferred payment will be added to the values of the previous months. The repayments for the deferred PAYE liability will be spread equally across 6 months, with the first payment being due on 7 October 2020 and the last on 5 March 2021.

Mention of the extension can be found on this SARS page, dated 28 August.

Employer Interim Reconciliation Reminder

The submission period for the 2020 / 2021 employer interim reconciliation period opens on 14 September. During the reconciliation period you need to submit your EMP501 return and employee IRP5 / IT3(a)s, consolidating the period of 1 March to 31 August 2020.

Staying true to our ongoing commitment to make your payroll obligations a breeze, SimplePay automatically generates these forms for you, with all the latest legislative changes already incorporated.

You can complete the filing process using eFiling if you have less than 50 employees, or alternatively with [email protected] for any number of employees. You might also be able to complete the process in branch by prior arrangement, but we would encourage you to use one of the online methods. More on [email protected] can be read on this page.

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

If you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, Why not try out our service on the house? You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. Get to grips with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or trying our free online course. Concerned about cost? Don’t be; we’ve simplified that too – check out our pricing page. Alternatively, you can request a formal quote if you need one here.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Lockdown Level 2

Note: This information was correct at the time of writing, being based on the Government’s related media releases.

Today (18/08/2020) is the first day that South Africa has dropped down to lockdown level 2 out of 5. But what does this actually mean? In today’s blog we shall outline the new changes and provide a summary table of what changed between each level of lockdown. 

Level 2

Travel and Accommodation

For the first time since 27 March 2020, people living in South Africa are allowed to travel between provinces for leisure purposes. This relaxation comes at the same time as the removal of the limit to the range of accommodation facilities which can be used, meaning that those of you in the hospitality sector can once again welcome nationwide guests. 

Gatherings

Under level 2, provided that you observe the Government Regulations on social distancing and health protocols, a number of gatherings are now permitted. This further expands the number of businesses that are able to operate under level 2. You can read the full list of permitted gatherings in section 55 of the Government gazette, but we have picked out a handful of the most relevant ones below:

  • Accommodation establishments and tour operators (up to 50% of available floor space, with patrons at least 1.5 metres apart)
  • Bars, taverns, shebeens and similar establishments (up to 50 people)
  • Concerts and live performances (up to 50 people)
  • Tourist attractions
  • Gyms, subject to guidelines (up to 50 people)
  • Swimming pools (up to 50 people)
  • Sports grounds and fields
  • Beaches and public parks

Sale of Alcohol and Cigarettes

The Government has relaxed its stance on the sale of alcohol, meaning that bars, restaurants and other institutions with a license to sell alcohol on-site can again do so, provided strict adherence to the 10pm curfew.

Additionally, alcohol can now be sold in shops between the hours of 9am to 5pm. Cigarettes may also now be sold in shops.

Businesses that must Remain Closed

Despite the majority of businesses, there are a number which must remain closed at this moment under level 2. These are:

  • 1. Night clubs
  • 2. International passenger air travel for leisure purposes
  • 3. Passenger ships for international leisure purposes
  • 4. Attendance of any sporting event by spectators
  • 5. International sports events
  • 6. Exclusions relating to public transport services as set out in the directions issued by the Cabinet member responsible for transport

Comparative Table of Lockdown Levels

Below is a comparative table between lockdown levels 5 to 2. If changes were made within the period of a certain lockdown level, the changed position will be recorded within the table. For a more detailed evaluation of the level, you can click on the link at the head of each column.

Lockdown LevelFive (5) Four (4)Three (3)Two (2)
Effective Date27/03/202001/05/202001/06/202017/08/2020
ShoppingFood, medicine and healthcare onlyFood, medicine, healthcare and limited others Most shopping reopened, but alcohol and tobacco sales remain prohibitedMajority of shopping reopened
TravelNone, except essentialNone, except essential and for businessBusiness travel and Intra-provincial leisure travelAll Inter-provincial travel, including domestic flights
Permitted GatheringsNone, except for funeralsFunerals, workplaces and obtaining certain goods and servicesA large number of gatherings permitted, subject to conditionsA large number of gatherings permitted, including amateur sport and small social events
Public SpacesClosedLimited number open, e.g. exercise permitted between 6 – 9amLimited number open for activities e.g. exercise between 6:00 – 18:00Open, subject to the Minister announcing closure and adherence with health protocols
Workplaces  Open for the provision of Food, medicine and healthcare onlyOpen for the provision of Infrastructure, manufacturing and food, as well as some other services.Majority reopened, except for some accommodation establishments and nightclubsMajority reopened
LeisureNoneNoneLarge number of services reopened within provinces, minus gyms, sports facilities, beaches and othersMajority of services reopened, minus nightclubs, spectating live sport and limited others

We hope that you have found the above information useful. 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, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, you can get a formal quote, sign up for our 30-day free trial or learn how to get set up on SimplePay. Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our amazing support team at [email protected] 

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

End of Week Blog: 14 August

As we approach the halfway point for the month of August, today’s blog post will be looking at recent  COVID-19 TERS announcements, updates from SARS and a recap of some of our recent blog posts.

TERS Update

On 12 August, the Department of Employment and Labour announced that the opening of TERS applications for July / August will be on Monday, 17 August. This followed the Minister signing a Directive on the application of TERS for these months.

The Directive states that for the July / August period, applications can be made for employees whose employers are:

  1. not permitted to commence operations under the Disaster Management Regulations; 
  2. unable to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable works, (e.g. working from home or taking special measures); or are
  3. unable to make use of their employees’ services, due to restrictions to the permitted active workforce, caused by compliance with Directions and Regulations, such as staggered working.

The application process should be the same as for the previous months, with proof of disbursements to employees being required if you are selected to act as a conduit, in addition to the bank verification process.

To read the Directive, its explanatory memorandum, or an updated set of FAQ’s for the upcoming application process, you can visit this Department of Labour webpage

Reminder: Employer Interim Reconciliation Submission

The interim employer reconciliation period which runs between March and August ends this month, meaning that you will need to submit your EMP 501 and IRP5s / IT3(a)s next month. The submission period opens on 15 September and concludes on 31 October.

[email protected] BETA Testing

SARS is currently running final tests on the latest version of [email protected] in time for Employer Interim Reconciliation in mid-September.

Enhancements will include:

  • New source codes on the IRP5 to incorporate the legislative changes 
  • New letters regarding Remittance of Penalties and Interest, Notice of Non-Compliance Penalty 
  • Amended letters regarding excessive liability changes on the Employer Reconciliation, Employment Tax Validation, Notice of Assessment 
  • Amendment of PAYE dashboard 
  • Upgrade of the BETA Testing site 
  • Resubmission of rejected EMP501 reconciliation 
  • Time out while downloading a new version of [email protected] Employer 
  • New summary report of all certificates included in the EMP501 Reconciliation 
  • Synchronisation of eFiling and [email protected] Employer logons 

We are incorporating all the new codes and tax rules to our system, meaning that come September you can automatically generate the IRP5s / IT3(a)s and EMP501 needed, and submit them to SARS. Easy as that!

NEW FEATURES AND UPDATES

PAYE vs Income Tax

We have changed the labelling of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) on payslips from “Tax” to “Tax (PAYE)”. If you’d like to know more about our reasons for us doing this and the differences between the various forms of income tax, take a read through our blog.

Family Responsibility Leave

We have updated the name of Compassionate Leave to Family Responsibility Leave on SimplePay, to align our site more strongly with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. You can read more about this in our blog post.

Self-Service Employee Claim Request

We’ve expanded our self-service features to allow employees to claim expenses, travel allowances and custom items of various input types.

If you’d like to opt-in for these new and expanded features, you can find out how and read more about them here.

Employee Filtering Revamp

Having had requests to switch up how you’d like to be able to filter employees on SimplePay, we’ve listened and made some changes. You can read about our newly introduced and adapted filters in our blog post from 4 August.

RECAP

Easing of Tourism Restrictions

On 30 July, we updated you on the new rules for the tourism industry under level 3 of lockdown. You can read more about these relaxations here.

Business Turnaround and Recovery Programme

The Business Turnaround and Recovery Programme is aimed at intervening to help companies in distress or decline to re-strategise and put their business back on to a profitable trajectory.

If this sounds an interesting prospect, you can read more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply in our blog post.

We hope that you have found the above information useful. 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, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Easing of Tourism Industry Restrictions Under Level 3

On 30 July 2020, the Minister for Tourism gave a speech on the relaxation of certain lockdown measures affecting the tourism industry. Subsequently, these announced changes have been released in a Government gazette, meaning that you are now allowed to do the actions referred to in the speech. In the blog today we will be picking out the key aspects of the speech and explaining what exactly you can now do under level 3 of lockdown.

Restaurants

The nine o’clock curfew has had a greater adverse impact on the restaurant industry in comparison to most others. This restriction has had the effect of limiting the number of prospective customers at one of the busiest periods for restaurants. 

Responding to this, the Government has extended curfews to 10pm, thus accommodating later dinner services.

Leisure Accommodation

Restrictions to domestic and leisure travel have resulted in a large, if not total, shrinkage in business for accommodation establishments.

As of 1 August,  if you are an accommodation establishment, you will be able to welcome customers from within your own province. We must emphasise that this easing is only for intra-provincial travel, i.e. no travel between provinces for leisure purposes. There are also the following two provisos:

  1. No more than two people per room is allowed (except for parents staying in a room with their children).
  2. Short term home rentals and home sharing remains closed.

Safari Tour Operators

Prior to the new Regulations, only self-driven safari tours were permitted under level 3. The changes mean that if you are a tour operator, you can carry out open air guided tours, subject to certain directions.  

COVID-19 Loan Guarantee Scheme

Use of the newly revised COVID-19 Loan Guarantee scheme was encouraged by the Minister in her speech. The new revisions aim to make it easier for companies in all sectors to access loans for operational costs, on preferential terms.  You can now also apply for business restart loans to assist you in the costs of reopening your business.

More information on the scheme and the changes in requirements can be found in this official guide.

Tourism Sector Recovery Plan

On 1 August, a draft of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan was released for public comment. Subject to amendments, this provides you with a roadmap for how the Department for Tourism aims to navigate through the coming months.

Reading the draft recovery plan should give you a better understanding of the Department for Tourism’s strategy for rejuvenating the tourism sector is. If you want to give any input on the recovery plan, this must be sent to [email protected] by 15 August 2020.

We hope that you have found the above information useful. 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, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Business Turnaround and Recovery Programme

SimplePay is all about providing you with a high quality payroll solution so that paying your employees becomes a breeze. But we realise that when it comes to employee remuneration, processing payroll is only half the story – your ability to employ and pay individuals depends on the success of your business. Today’s blog post is therefore broader than payroll processing and highlights schemes and incentives to help businesses succeed, allowing them to create job opportunities in the process. 

At the Budget 31 conference in July, Productivity SA was presented with a R104 million grant by the UIF for the purposes of promoting employment growth and productivity. The bulk of the grant is being directed towards the Business Turnaround and Recovery Programme (BT & R). We should also point out though that there is more support available for companies at all stages of maturity, such as their Continuous Improvement Services. More information can be found on the Productivity SA website.

What is the Business Turnaround and Recovery Programme?

The BT & R is a programme aimed at intervening to help companies in distress. By working closely with the UIF, CCMA and TERS as strategic partners, Productivity SA aims to turn around companies’ fortunes and put them on a profitable trajectory. The programme will last approximately 9 months for the selected companies. The programme focuses on the following key areas:

  1. Assessing problem areas, managing crises and developing strategies to help turn the company around.
  2. Enhancing company performance through aiding in improvements to marketing, operations, HR and financial strategies.
  3. Educating employees on basic business principles and operations, so that they can understand how their actions impact the entire operational process.
  4. Building capacity and staff training to improve and sustain productivity, long after the intervention.

By doing this, it is hoped that the turnaround programme will:

  1. Improve productivity of company operations and in doing so promote economic and employment growth;
  2. improve operational efficiency to make businesses financially viable and competitive; and
  3. provide productivity measures so the productivity improvement of the workplace can be measured.

You can find a more detailed outline of the BT & R programme on their relevant web page.

What are the Eligibility Criteria?

For your company to be able to partake in the BT & R programme, there are some requirements which are mandatory to qualify, and others which are beneficial but not essential.

Mandatory requirements are:

  • Your company must be in distress or showing decline, as evidenced by income statements, cash flow statements and / or other documents that may prove decline / distress;
  • you must be in good standing with the UIF and SARS, as the UIF is the source of Productivity SA’s funding to run the programme; and
  • there must be a genuine potential or likelihood that intervention will result in making the business profitable.

Whilst not mandatory, it would be beneficial if your company fulfils one or more of the below:

  • Your company employs at least 20 employees.
  • Your company meets one or more of the targets laid out in the Government’s New Growth Plan, Industrial Policy Action Plan or National Infrastructure Plan. These plans are mainly aligned with the manufacturing and industrial sectors.
  • Funding your company would promote black industrialists or entrepreneurs.

How can you Apply?

If the above is of interest you can get more information directly from Productivity SA by emailing them at [email protected]. In response, they should be able to provide you with the application forms required and further details of the programme.

We hope the above information has proved useful to you. If you have any queries on any of the programmes mentioned in this blog, we would recommend that you reach out to Productivity SA. If you have any questions for us, we’d love to hear from you! You can contact us at [email protected].  

Not yet a client of SimplePay? Want to take the effort out of payroll? Why not try our 30 day free trial found on our website, or contact one of our team to find out more?

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

July Recap Blog

With yet another month in 2020 having come to an end, it is time to recap on the month of July and look ahead to what August has to offer!

COVID-19 TERS Extension

Update 4 August: The cut-off point for April and May TERS applications has been extended and closure will be subject to 14 day’s notice – Read more here.

As was covered in our blog on 21 July 2020, deputy Minister Moloi announced the extension of COVID-19 TERS to 15 August, aligning this with the extension to the Disaster Management Act. 

Applications for April and May close today, 31 July 2020, but we are still waiting for an announcement on the opening of applications for July.

Please also note that as previously mentioned the home page of the TERS application portal has been altered. A new message outlining urgent steps for the employer to take, in order for the UIF to be able to authorise payment of an application. Please take a look in case any action on your part is required for claims already submitted.

Use of the Reduced Working Time Category to Claim Benefits

The UIF has stated that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of applications for UIF under the reduced working time benefits code. This shows that a significant number of employees are likely receiving financial support through their accrued UIF benefits of receiving these through TERS. The UIF and Department of Labour have reiterated that TERS is the better option for employees as long as it remains in force.

In our blog about the time spans of the different COVID-19 support measures, we detailed the need to move employees across to UIF benefits upon the conclusion of the TERS scheme. With the abovementioned extension to TERS, switching employees should be delayed until at least 15 August 2020.

SARS Auto-Assessment Process

As mentioned in our previous blog from 7 July, SARS is rolling out a new, streamlined individual tax return service in August. Rather than having to manually complete your individual tax return, it may be automatically assessed if you meet SARS’ conditions. The new service will be run throughout the month of August and provided SARS has all the necessary tax information they need (IRP5 etc.) you and your employees will receive an SMS inviting you to review your statement and accept it if you are in agreement with it.

For more information on the scheme and an FAQ you can visit the SARS Auto-Assessment page.

Steps to Follow

  1. Log into eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.
  2. Click on “Tax Returns” 
  3. A pop up will appear stating “SARS has simulated a tax return for you. Click “Continue”.
  4. Once the ITR12 has loaded you can either select “Accept” or “Edit Return”.

If you have selected accept, you will be redirected to a list of your submitted ITR12s, or alternatively if you wish to edit your ITR12 you can do so.

If you have accepted the tax return SARS should issue you with an ITA34 Notice of Assessment. After you have received this that’s it, you’re done!

SARS has also provided video guides which you can find here.

Bi-Annual Tax Period

The end of August marks the halfway point through the tax year, meaning that soon after it will be time to start preparing for interim filing. Due to SimplePay’s continuing commitment to make your payroll life straightforward, we will endeavour to make sure that we have completed all necessary preparations and testing for when the interim biannual filing opens.

We hope that you have found the above information useful. 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, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.co.za.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay