Travel Allowance Updates Effective March 2018

As of the 2018/2019 tax year, the treatment of travel allowances where employees are reimbursed per kilometre travelled for business has changed. 

Previously, the travel allowance was not taxable on the payslip, irrespective of the amount per kilometre reimbursed. However, the travel allowance may have been taxed on assessment.

From 1 March 2018, if an employee is reimbursed at a rate above the prescribed rate, the portion above the prescribed rate is taxable on the payslip. The prescribed rate for the 2019 tax year is R3.61 per kilometre.

There are no changes to the way that you capture the reimbursement on a payslip on SimplePay. We aim to keep you compliant with SARS and therefore SimplePay has been updated to take these rules into account. The system will automatically split the travel allowance into the taxable and non-taxable portion, based on your inputs.

Please note that due to this change, the reporting codes for reimbursive travel allowances used on the IRP5 have also been updated by SARS.

For more information on this, refer to the following help page.

Tax Certificates Now Available via Employee Self-Service

At SimplePay we strive to create value for you by meeting your payroll needs in a simple and easy manner. With that in mind, we are thrilled to announce the launch of a new feature to make the tax year-end even easier for you – employees can now view their tax certificates via the self-service function.

This means that you can release IRP5s/IT3(a)s to your employees at the end of the tax year at the click of a button. Employees will be informed via email that their tax certificates are available on their employee self-service. You can also attach a PDF of their tax certificate in this email. Please note: you can only release final year-end IRP5s/IT3(a)s to employees i.e. interim IRP5s/IT3(a)s for the first 6 months of the tax year cannot be released to employees.

Please see the following help page for more information on the steps to enable and use this function.

Team SimplePay

UIF Exclusion Update for Learners and Employees who Repatriate

With effect from 1 March 2018 and in accordance with the Taxation Laws Amendment Act of 2017, the following employee categories must no longer be excluded from contributing to UIF:

  1. Learners employed in terms of section 18(2) of the Skills Development Act
  2. Employees who intend to repatriate (return to their country of origin) at the end of their working period in South Africa.

 

This means that both (1) Learners and (2) Employees who intend to repatriate, must contribute to the Fund from 1 March 2018.

NB: The aforementioned categories of employees must contribute to the Fund, but will not be entitled to claim a benefit until the Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act changes become effective.

Updates in SimplePay for the 2018/2019 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 2018, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2018/2019 period, as announced in the 2018 Budget Speech on 21 February 2018. If you are still processing payroll for the 2017/2018 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:

2018/2019 Tax Rates

As expected, the tax rates and rebates for individuals changed to accommodate inflation.

Taxable Income (R) Rate of Tax (R)
0 – 195 850 18% of taxable income
195 851 – 305 850 35 253 + 26% of taxable income above 195 850
305 851 – 423 300 63 853 + 31% of taxable income above 305 850
423 301 – 555 600 100 263 + 36% of taxable income above 423 300
555 601 – 708 310 147 891 + 39% of taxable income above 555 600
708 311 – 1 500 000 207 448 + 41% of taxable income above 708 310
1 500 001 and above 532 041 + 45% of taxable income above 1 500 000

The tax threshold has also increased from R75 750 to R78 150 because the primary rebate has increased from R13 635 to R14 067.

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 R303.00 to R310.00 per month.
  • For every additional dependant, the tax credit has increased from R204.00 to R209.00 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 R122.00 to R128.00.
  • The allowance for meals and incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R397.00 to R416.00.

**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 361 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:

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

Sparkling New User Interface Design!

We have officially launched our new user interface design!

We hope that you like our new look, which is designed to make it easier and quicker for you to find what you are looking for. The new user interface has a fresh and modern look and feel, with more user-friendly navigation. Of course, we haven’t lost sight of your needs and all the usual features and functions that you have come to expect with SimplePay are still there.

Take a moment to explore the new user interface design. You will discover:

Improved Navigation:

  • The tabs that were previously at the top of the screen have been moved to a menu on the left-hand side.
  • No more overlooking the actions on the right of the screen, as these now appear on the top of the screen when clicking on a menu item.

Shortened and more relevant terminology:

  • Submissions is now called Filing, and Payment Runs has been changed to Pay Runs.
  • Payment Frequencies has also been shortened to Pay Frequencies.

New icons:

  • The top-right hand corner of the screen has 2 new icons: the Help icon and the Profile icon.
  • The Help icon has the following options:
    • Help for this page: see help pages specifically for the screen you are on (if available),
    • General Help: navigate to our help site, where you can browse various topics.
    • Support: Contact the Support team or grant them view-only access from this screen.

  • The Profile icon has the following options:
    • Companies: This allows you to add, delete and switch between companies.
    • Billing: This shows you all your billing information.
    • User Profile: You can change your password here, or switch between roles if you have more than one role.
    • Manage Users: This allows you to add, deactivate and manage the users in SimplePay for your company, including changing their permission settings or role.
    • Logout: Keep your information secure by logging out of SimplePay when you’re done.  

Improved payroll screen:

  • The payroll screen is divided into 3 columns, making it easier to do payroll.
  • Adding a regular item is now done by clicking on Add next to Regular Inputs.
  • Clicking on Add next to Payslip Inputs lets you add a once-off item to this payslip only.
  • To view a previous payslip, add a payslip or change payslip dates, click on the date dropdown field next to Payslip in the last column.

Mobile responsiveness:

  • The new user interface also has improved mobile responsiveness. This will be developed further in the upcoming weeks.
  • Mobile responsiveness means that SimplePay is more compatible with mobile phones and tablets, allowing you to process payslips on the move.
  • Employees can more easily use their phones to access their payslips and make leave requests, without needing to download any apps.

We hope that you are excited about the new user interface. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please also let us know what you think of our new look – all comments and feedback are welcome. We would also love to hear suggestions for new information or topics for our help site or blog.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Team SimplePay

Add Supporting Documents to Self-Service Leave Requests

You asked and we delivered! We have expanded the self-service functionality so that employees can add documents when they request leave. Now employees can attach doctor’s certificates, birth and death certificates, or any other supporting documents to leave requests with ease.

To find out how to add documents as an employee, read more on this help page.

Leave approvers can view these documents without needing the employee to hand them to each person directly.

To find out how to view documents as a leave approver, read more about it on this help page.

Just another way that SimplePay is working to make payroll simpler for you!

 

The SimplePay Team

Accounting Splits Made Easy

We’ve listened to your suggestions and are thrilled to launch our long-awaited Accounting Splits feature.

Now you can create groups of employees (known as Accounting Splits) based on your expense-tracking needs, and split payroll items according to how you wish to account for the various expenses associated with each specific group e.g. Directors. The Accounting Splits feature gives you more insight into your payroll expenses, promising to save you time and increase your efficiency.

The impact of the Accounting Split can be seen in the Accounting Info report, which shows the effect of the split across the various expense and liability amounts for the payment run – useful for reporting purposes.

In the past, our accounting reports only reflected a single total per payroll item making it difficult to identify expenses for specific employee groups e.g. Directors.

This new functionality also lets you map the payroll items for a particular Accounting Split, according to your company’s structure and needs, before posting the information directly to your journal in your accounting system.

If I’m a Xero user, how  do Accounting Splits differ from tracking categories?

  • Tracking categories let you see how different areas of your business are performing and can be used to keep track of cost codes – our accounting report will reflect payroll items lumped under one figure, but Xero will allow you to split accounts by tracking category.
  • In contrast, Accounting Splits will split figures on our accounting report as per the groups you created. When posting to Xero, you will be given the option to post to different accounts, based on the group.

More information about setting up Accounting Splits can be found on our help site.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email us at [email protected] to assist you.

The SimplePay Team

Leave Take-Ons: New and Improved

We are very happy to inform you that we have re-designed the way that leave take-on balances are captured. The new and improved take-on screen will provide you with greater flexibility and is also more informative. Additionally, you will now have the option to add leave take-on balances in bulk.

Please note: the information in this blog post does, unfortunately, not apply to clients who are still on Version 1 of our leave system; however, we’re working very hard on migrating everyone to the latest version as soon as possible.

In cases where you previously used another payroll system before you started using SimplePay,  you can add leave take-on balances for your employees.

Alternatively, you might want to enter leave balances as at a particular date. The redesigned leave take-on screen allows you to do this too because you are able to choose the date for the end of the take-on period.

The system will automatically calculate the leave accrued from the start of the leave cycle to the end of the take-on period and will also take into consideration leave days taken and leave adjustments recorded on the system. It will even allow you to enter the number of leave days that were captured off-system.

Additionally, the system will automatically calculate a closing balance – as at the end of the take-on period – based on information in the other fields. However, if the leave policy allows for leave to be carried forward, you will be able to override the automatically calculated closing balance and enter the desired balance.

More information about leave take-on balances and the handy new take-on fields that we’ve added can be found on our help site.

Another great improvement is that it is now possible to add leave take-on balances for your employees in bulk – thereby eliminating the need to repeat the same steps over and over for all your employees.  More information about how to do these bulk inputs can be found here.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email us at [email protected] to assist you.

The SimplePay Team

August 2017 Employer Interim Reconciliation Filing Season

The August 2017 Employer Interim Reconciliation filing season is now open and you have until 31 October 2017 to submit your Employer Reconciliation Declarations (EMP501s) for the period from 1 March 2017 to 31 August 2017, in respect of the Monthly Employer Declarations (EMP201s) submitted, payments made, Employee Income Tax Certificates [IRP5s / IT3(a)s] and ETI, if applicable.

You can refer to the SARS website for news about this.

Remember that we have a help page about the bi-annual filing process, as well as a guide – to take you through it step by step.

Please pay particular attention to the checklist in the guide, which will help you eliminate unnecessary validation errors when trying to upload files to [email protected]

An updated version of [email protected] is already available, and it is very important that you use the latest version: 6.8.1. Please remember to make a backup of your current information on your computer before installing a new version of [email protected]

We are happy to inform you that we have already made all the necessary updates to the system that were required because of the changes SARS made for this filing season. You will now, once again, be able to generate an export file of your tax certificates on the Submissions tab and upload this file onto [email protected]

One notable change introduced by SARS is the increased reporting requirements for ETI, which include new and amended ETI source codes. Another consequence of the requirement for increased reporting on ETI is a slight change in the way tax take-on balances are captured – and some action might be required on your side.

When you do the pre-validation on our system (as described in the guide linked to above), you might get some IRP5 code errors – especially if you started using SimplePay after 1 March 2017 and if you already had employees who had qualified for ETI when you entered take-on balances.

Many of these IRP5 code errors should be resolved when you enter the additional ETI take-on information that SARS now requires. This should be done individually for all employees mentioned in the IRP5 code errors as follows:

  1. Go to the employee’s profile.
  2. Click on Take-On Balances under Actions on the right.
  3. Click on Edit Balances.
  4. Enter the monthly ETI Wage and ETI Hours information for the same months for which you had previously entered ETI Claimed and Remuneration information.
    • More information about ETI Wage is available here. Please note the distinction between remuneration and wage.
    • More information about ETI Hours is available here.
  5. Re-do the pre-validation and check that the IRP5 code errors related to ETI take-on information have been resolved.

As always, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions or need assistance in resolving the IRP5 code errors.

The SimplePay Team

New Roles and Permissions

Another exciting new feature has just gone live!

In response to requests from many clients, we have increased the number of roles that you can assign to users on the system, each of which has a different set of associated permissions that determines what the user can see and do on the system.

Previously, you were only able to restrict the access of users to certain companies / payment frequencies / pay points. You will now still be able to do this… and more! There are now three possible roles that you can assign to a user: Admin, Leave Admin and Approval Only.

All existing users on the system will, by default, be assigned the Admin role. Therefore, they will still be able to do exactly what they were able to do in the past. Additionally, any restrictions to companies / payment frequencies / pay points that you had previously put in place, will still be in effect.

The two new roles – Leave Admin and Approval Only – were designed to make your life easier and give you more flexibility. For example, you can assign the Leave Admin role to someone who only administers leave but should not have access to any salary information, or someone who should only be able to approve leave / info update requests, can be assigned the Approval Only role.

However, if you have no need for these new roles, you can ignore these changes and continue as you did before – with all users having the Admin role.

If you would like to read more about the new roles that we have introduced, you can click here. Additionally, you can find more general information about managing users by clicking here.

Please note: this new feature has necessitated some terminology changes on the system: previously, we used to talk about multiple “roles” that could be associated with an email address. However, now we will refer to multiple “users” being associated with that email address. More information about multiple users is available here.

As always, your feedback will be highly valued, especially since we are considering adding more roles in the future.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email us at [email protected] to assist you.

The SimplePay Team