Resubmission of EMP501 and Tax Certificates which reflect Solidarity Fund donations, by 9 July 2021

As part of our continued effort to always keep you compliant and signal potential issues which may affect your business, we noted a recent issue which warrants this blog post.

The information in this post is aimed at employers who may have facilitated donations by employees to the Solidarity Fund, between 1 April and 30 September 2020, via their payroll

SARS Notice

Last week SARS released updated software to enable the filing season of individuals and trusts that commenced on 1 July 2021.

As part of the testing cycle during the release, it was discovered that [email protected] incorrectly processed EMP501 source code 4055 data, which relates to employee donations to the Solidarity Fund through their respective payroll systems.

SARS has apologised for the error and will be taking steps to have the issue resolved and the errors corrected.

Resubmission of EMP501 data

To address the issue, it will be required that affected employers resubmit their EMP501 data to SARS. Resubmitting the data is the only way that SARS will be able to recognise the donations by  employees for tax purposes during the upcoming filing season. It is essential that donations to the Solidarity Fund are reported on the tax certificate against code 4055.

SARS has urged all affected employers to resubmit by Friday 9 July 2021 to enable them to process the data successfully.

If you have any queries about this or are unsure if you are affected, please call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277. 

Should you have any questions regarding SimplePay or any of our services, please feel free to contact [email protected] for assistance.

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

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

Update: New Individual Tax Returns Process

Individual Tax Returns

Back in May we sent out a blog reminding you of the annual employer reconciliation deadline, but also informing you of a delay to the deadline for your employees’ individual tax returns (ITR12s) from their expected opening date in July. This year, the window for manually entered individual tax returns opens on 1 September 2020. SARS has, however, also subsequently unveiled a new additional returns process which will be put into action over the month of August.

Under the “auto-assessment process” employees can have their returns filed and assessed without needing to complete the usual manual process through one of SARS’s channels. On 1 August, provided that individuals have had all their necessary information declared to SARS, they should receive an SMS. This will communicate an invitation to review a draft assessment on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. If the draft assessment is correct, they can accept it, meaning that they don’t need to manually complete and file a tax return through one of SARS’s regular channels in September. Should a refund be due, it should follow within a week. The process that would need to be followed if the individual owed SARS was not mentioned. We will remain vigilant for any elaboration on this.

A further point to note is that if at the start of August, SARS have not yet received all the necessary information for an employee, but subsequently receive it during August, SARS will invite the employee to file early under the same system.

Come 1 September, if employees have not been auto-assessed, or chose to decline the draft assessment, they will be able to start the filing process via eFiling or the MobiApp. Additionally, there will be some availability for filing in branches, by prior appointment only. 

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, 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

Annual Employer Reconciliation Period Deadline

With 31 May just around the corner, this blog is a friendly reminder that the Annual Employer Reconciliation Period deadline is fast approaching. As mentioned in our blog on 8 May, all the necessary changes were made to the SimplePay site at the start of this month, so all that is left is to jump in and complete your IRP5/IT3(a)s!

As mentioned in this previous blog, SARS has rolled out the Employer Tax Validation system for the first time, which will cross-check SARS calculated value for the SDL and PAYE amounts, with those submitted.

Despite the pandemic, SARS has made it clear that it will not be altering its policy on late submissions, meaning that if you do submit late, you could be subject to penalties of up to 10% the value of the payroll.

We hope that this information proves useful to you. If you have any queries on how the above relates to payroll and the SimplePay system, please feel free to get in touch with our customer support team at [email protected]

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

TeamSimplePay

P.S. Individual Tax Returns: 

SARS has announced a delay in the deadline for Individual Tax Returns (ITR-12s) from its normal place in July, to September 2020. The online filing period for individuals in 2020 will prospectively run between 1 September and 16 November 2020.

Interest Rate Change for Employer Loans

In an effort to manage the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on the economy, the Reserve Bank has announced a further historic cut to the repurchase rate (repo rate). The repo rate will be cut by 50 basis points, from 4.25% to 3.75%, effective 22 May 2020.

The change in repo rate impacts the “official rate” used to calculate the fringe benefit on employer loans. The official rate is set at an interest rate of 100 basis points above the repo rate and any changes in the repo rate will only affect the official rate from the beginning of the next month. The official interest rate for employer loans will therefore change from 5.25% to 4.75% effective 1 June.

As always, you do not need to take any action to implement the new interest rate. We have already updated the system to reflect these changes. All employer loans on payslips dated from 1 June 2020 will make use of the new interest rate. As our system is built to be intuitive, any payslips dated before 1 June 2020 will make use of the previous interest rate.

You can find more information on employer loans on our help page here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our support team.

Team SimplePay

Employment Tax Validation Process

In today’s blog we will be providing a brief overview of the tax validation process, carried out by SARS on the IRP5/IT3(a) certificates. Back in 2019, SARS announced its intention to validate PAYE, SDL and UIF on tax certificates. This blog therefore details the process and extent which they have put this goal into action.

As of the 2020 tax year, SARS is holding employers more accountable for ensuring that they deduct the correct PAYE. This is being done through a validation process, where SARS performs calculations on the tax certificates submitted by employers. Where SARS has determined that employers are not withholding the correct amount of PAYE, the employer will be responsible for taking corrective action. This includes recovering the amount from employees or facing the penalty of paying it on behalf of employees in cases where the employer under-deducted PAYE.

For the 2020/02/28 submission period, SARS will be validating PAYE and SDL amounts submitted.

If any discrepancies are found between SARS’ and the submitted values, a notification and accompanying file are issued to highlight any discrepancies. Employers can then review the report to determine whether the correct taxes were declared on the tax certificate, or if any amendments are required. 

Although SARS does not reject any certificates during the tax validation process, employers must ensure that taxes are correctly calculated. The SARS website states the following:

Note: The purpose of the Payroll Tax Validation letter is to inform the employer of discrepancies on the amount of tax or levies that were deducted for employees. All the certificates submitted were accepted and processed and will be pre-populated on the employee’s income tax return (ITR12).

Locating the Flagged Certificates

For details on how to locate the error report on [email protected] or eFiling and action any errors, please refer to our help page, linked here.

UIF Validation

SARS has stated that for the current filing season they will not be validating the UIF contributions, due to the fact that the value for remuneration in calculating UIF is not present on EMP201s and SARS is also not able to apply the monthly limit. This will therefore need to be double checked by employers to ensure they have the correct value.

Process to Follow for Over and Under Deductions.

The process to follow to correct any over or under deductions can be found on this SARS webpage.

In both cases, it may be necessary to amend the respective certificates. The existing certificate can be amended (i.e maintaining the certificate number), provided that there are no changes to:

  • the type of certificate (IRP5 or IT3(a); 
  • the transaction year; or
  • the year of assessment.

If any of the above does need to be amended, the original certificate must be cancelled and replaced with a new one (yielding a new certificate number).

For any amendments to your certificates, please contact us so we can assist you in doing this on the system. Along with the request, please provide:

  • The SARS tilde (~) delimited file (essentially the error report).
  • Details of the over/under deduction that has been flagged and the employee(s) which it / they relate to.
  • The CSV file from the original submission.
  • Any additional relevant information that you have, which will be of assistance.

We hope that this information proves useful to you. Upon reading the blog and the attached SARS webpage (above), if you find yourself in need of making any amendments to your certificates, please feel free to get in touch with our customer support team at [email protected]

Catch Up Corner

SDL Payment Holiday

In our previous blog about the draft Disaster Management Bills, we mentioned SDL prospectively being set to zero from the start of May until the end of August 2020. We have now implemented this change, so any payslips finalised going forward will reflect the zero SDL value on the EMP201. For employers who have already finalised their EMP201s for May, we will assist you with zeroing the SDL contributions.

Expansion of Parental Leave Benefits

It is now possible for employees taking adoption or commissioning parental leave to claim a certain amount from the UIF when on their leave period. The related SimplePay help page can be found here, with a further link on the page as to how this leave can be recorded on SimplePay.

If you have any queries on the SDL payment holiday or the leave benefits, you can contact our customer support team at [email protected]

Keep home. Stay well. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Lockdown Update: 8 May

In today’s blog we have an important update on how best to interpret employee TERS benefit entitlements and the effect of additional payments by employers to employees participating under the scheme. We shall also touch base on tracking of UIF applications, updates from SARS and cast our eyes forward with respect to ETI.

TERS Payouts

Please note: This information is a reiteration of information provided by the Department of Labour on 30 April. It is provided for informational purposes only and is to the best of our knowledge correct at the time of publication.

Our previous blog based on information posted by SAICA on 29 April, suggested that employer contributions may greatly reduce the amount employees receive from the TERS benefit, as well as underestimating TERS benefit amount. The Department of Labour has since published its own FAQ document (linked below), which has shown that this was not correct. We unreservedly apologise for any inconvenience and angst this has caused you.

The following information is based on the Department of Labour FAQ (referenced as the DoL FAQ going forward), published 30 April 2020.

The amount that will be provided to each employee ranges between a minimum of R3 500.00 and a maximum of R6 638.40. This is further explained at the top of page 5 of the DoL FAQ.

Calculating an Employee’s TERS Payout

On pages 5-7 of the DoL FAQ, they explain how to calculate the TERS payout amount for an employee, before taking into account employer additions.

Benefit amount = Daily income x Income Replacement Rate (IRR)

To calculate the benefit amount, the above formula must be used. How to calculate the daily income for your employee and their own IRR, are shown on pages 5* and 6 of the DoL FAQ above. However, note that, if your employee is paid R17 712 or more, then there is no need to follow this calculation, as the entitlement will be R6 638.40.

*At the base of page 5, the term “Yi” may lead to confusion as it is a different format to the worked examples found on page 6. If at all confused, we would recommend following the method shown on page 6, using the daily income for both the amount put into the IRR formula, and for the value which you multiply with the IRR.

Effect of Additional Payments from the Employer

According to the above DoL FAQ, the correct interpretation of employer contributions is that they will not affect the employee’s benefit amount, unless the reduced salary and the TERS benefit amount would result in the employee receiving more than their normal remuneration if there were no lockdown.

For further explanation of this please refer to Page 7 of the DoL FAQ. 

Submissions of Electronic UIF Declarations

Since the lockdown came into force, there has been an influx of applications to the UIF, which has caused a delay on their end.

To help inform you on the progress of your application when using the SimplePay UIF Declaration function, we have updated our system to give you an expected time period for reply from the UIF when:

  1. You make the submission on the SimplePay Website.
  2. When your submission appears in the UIF list as awaiting_response.

When you go to your submission, under the “Electronic Status” heading, you will see a question mark in a blue circle. Hover your cursor over the question mark to show the expected response time, based on the up to date average processing times.

SARS Updates

For all the latest information from SARS, we would suggest following them on twitter (@sarstax). They are releasing nice bite-sized tweets on the various COVID-19 support measures, providing seemingly straightforward guidance for employers.

Annual Employer Reconciliation Period

SARS has not announced an extension to the annual employer filing period, meaning currently the deadline remains at 31 May. We are happy to announce that all of the necessary arrangements have been made on our end for you to proceed with your annual filing on the SimplePay site.

ETI Updates

The system has now been updated to cater for the expanded ETI, in effect from 1 April 2020 and covered in this post from 6 May. We would like to thank all of you who held off on doing April EMP201 submissions while we made the necessary updates.

The new draft Disaster Management Bills propose a further widening of ETI by relaxing the requirement that employees have an employment date before 1 October 2013. As this is still in draft form, we will not be making further system changes yet – as soon as there is confirmation of it passing into law, we will communicate this and make the necessary updates to the system – please keep an eye on our blog and in-system notifications.

We hope that this information gives clarity on the TERS payout and helps you in understanding what is a very complex subject, as well as keeping you in the loop on UIF and SARS. Should you have any queries over the content or processes to follow within this blog, please contact our support team via [email protected].

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Updates in SimplePay for the 2020/2021 Tax Year

As we enter the new tax year on 1 March, we’d like to remind you that there is no need to do a manual year end as in other payroll systems – simply continue processing payslips into the new tax year.

When you need to do your filing, the correct period will automatically be used and the relevant documents will be generated. For more information, please see our help site.

In addition, our system has already been updated in order to ensure that you are always compliant. We are pleased to inform you that as from 1 March 2020, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2020/2021 period, as announced in the 2020 Budget Speech on 26 February 2020. If you are still processing payroll for the 2019/2020 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:

2020/2021 Tax Rates

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

Taxable Income (R)Rate of Tax (R)
0 – 205 90018% of taxable income
205 901 – 321 60037 062 + 26% of taxable income above 205 900
321 601 – 445 10067 144 + 31% of taxable income above 321 600
445 101 – 584 200105 429 + 36% of taxable income above 445 100
584 201 – 744 800155 505 + 39% of taxable income above 584 200
744 801 – 1 577 300218 139 + 41% of taxable income above 744 800
1 577 301 and above559 464 + 45% of taxable income above 1 577 300

The tax threshold has increased from R79 000 to R83 100 because the primary rebate has increased from R14 220 to R14 958.

Medical Aid Tax Credit

The medical aid tax credit has increased as follows:

  • The tax credit for the main member and first dependant has increased from R310.00 to R319.00 per month.
  • For every additional dependant, the tax credit has increased from R209.00 to R215.00 per month.

Subsistence Allowance

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

  • The allowance for incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R134.00 to R139.00.
  • The allowance for meals and incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R435.00 to R452.00.

**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 kilometer for reimbursive travel allowances has increased to 398 cents.
  • 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

Foreign Income Exemption

A cap of R1.25 million per year has been placed on the exemption of foreign income earned by South African tax residents. Any foreign employment income earned over and above R1.25 million will be subject to tax for the particular year of assessment.

No changes were announced for the common payroll components of UIF and SDL.

If you have any questions relating to the above changes, you are welcome to email us at [email protected] to assist you with these queries.

The SimplePay Team

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