New Feature: Bulk Leave Import

We’ve had several requests asking for a way for payroll administrators and leave admins to record leave in bulk and we’re delighted to let you know that this feature is now here! This means that there are now 3 ways for leave to be captured on the system:

  • Employees can request leave via self-service or our mobile app which then gets captured once approved by a leave approver.
  • Payroll administrators and leave admins can record leave for individual employees via an employee’s profile.
  • Payroll administrators and leave admins can download an Excel file, complete it with the relevant leave days and upload the file into SimplePay.

For more information on how to use this new feature, head to our help page.

We’re continuing our mission to revolutionise payroll, and in the process make SimplePay the preferred payroll software provider for small and medium sized businesses. We hope that with the additional method for recording leave, every user now has an option that meets their needs.

If you have any queries on how to use the system or any suggestions on how we can better serve your needs, please reach out to us.

Team SimplePay

2021 Employer Annual Reconciliation Filing Season

The 2021 Employer Annual Reconciliation filing season will soon be opening on 1 April 2021. You have until 31 May 2021 to submit your Annual Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) for the period 1 March 2020 – 28 February 2021 to SARS.

SARS has warned that late submissions will result in a penalty of 1% of total annual PAYE being levied each month after May 2021 until the EMP501 is submitted (up to a maximum of 10%). This principle will no doubt be a permanent feature for the future and we can expect it to be applied to the August 2021 mid-year tax certificate submissions too. In addition, please remember that any employer who wilfully or negligently fails to submit a return to SARS is guilty of an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine or to imprisonment for a period of up to two years. This applies to EMP201’s as well as EMP501’s.

SimplePay automatically generates the IRP5s / IT3(a)s and EMP501 needed for year-end filing with SARS. These are available under the Filing section of the sidebar menu. Submissions of your EMP501 can be done via eFiling (for less than 50 employees) or the [email protected] application. You may need to update your [email protected] application to the latest version, 7.1.0. This can be done here. Please remember to back up your current information on your computer before installing a new version of [email protected]

For more information about the bi-annual filing process, refer to this help page. We also have a useful guide to take you through it step by step. The guide contains an important checklist which will help you eliminate unnecessary validation errors when trying to upload files to [email protected]

Please always check the status of submissions to ensure their EMP501 has been successfully filed at SARS.

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

Team SimplePay

COVID-19 TERS Phase 2 Claim Process

Update 19 March 2021: The UIF has released a Frequently Asked Questions Document on the two extended periods. To view it, click here.

Today’s blog post highlights the salient points from the UIF’s correspondence with employers on 3 March 2021 regarding the two new extension periods for Covid-19 TERS: 16 October to 31 December 2020, and 1 January to 31 March 2021. 

Who Can Claim?

Subject to falling within one of the relevant claim codes, the TERS benefit for the extended periods is available for any employees who are registered with the UIF as a contributor and who have not been able to work normally. Each of these elements are broken down below:

Registered with the UIF

This requirement stipulates that only employees who are registered to contribute to UIF are eligible for Covid-19 TERS payments. 

Have not been able to work normally

To be able to claim the benefits for the two extended periods, employees need to fall into one of the following four categories:

CategoryDescription
Claim Code 1Employees (on temporary lay-off or reduced working time) within those sectors that have not been able to operate due to regulatory restrictions as per directives issued. A list of these sectors is detailed in the table below – to verify your company’s eligibility, the UIF will require you to provide the relevant Sector Industry Class (SIC) for your business.
Claim Code 2Employees aged 60 and above, and who cannot be reasonably accommodated at work.
Claim Code 3Employees in isolation and quarantine to prevent the spread of Covid19.
Claim Code 4Employees with co-morbidities and who cannot be reasonably accommodated at work.

Additional Info: Eligible Sectors for Claim Code 1

A list of the eligible sectors in Claim Code 1 is provided in the UIF’s correspondence on 3 March 2021, but is tabled below for your convenience:

  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Museums, galleries, libraries and archives
  • Gyms and fitness centres
  • Restaurants
  • Venues hosting auctions
  • Venues hosting professional sports
  • Night clubs
  • Swimming pools
  • Bars, taverns and shebeens
  • Public parks
  • Domestic and international air travel
  • Rail, bus services and taxi services
  • E-hailing services
  • Sale, dispensing and distributions, and transportation of liquor
  • Beaches, dams, rivers and lakes
  • Passenger ships
  • Venues where social events are held
  • Venues hosting concerts and live performances
  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast, timeshare facilities, resorts and guest houses
  • Conferencing, dining, entertainment and bar facilities
  • International sports, arts and cultural events
  • Professional services (cleaning and security) within regulated restricted sectors (e.g. hospitality)
  • Other services and activities within regulated restricted sectors (e.g. hospitality)

When to Apply

Applications for the 16 October to 31 December 2020 period are open for employees eligible for TERS under the first category (Claim Code 1). The UIF is still tweaking their system to accommodate applications for employees eligible for TERS under categories 2, 3 and 4; they will communicate as soon as the system is ready to accept these applications.

The UIF is not yet accepting TERS applications for the 1 January to 31 March 2021 period; the opening date for these applications will be announced in due course.

How To Claim

The application process remains the same as the first extension period.  Your applications need to be accompanied by the following documentation:

  • Signed approval / acceptance letter (i.e. the Memorandum of Agreement or application, pre-signed by and for the UIF)
  • Bank Confirmation Letter (current)
  • Proof of payment to employees for previous benefits claimed and received for the prior period (e.g. EFT, payroll report, pay recon)
  • Refund to the UIF (if applicable)
  • Letter of authority

The claim for eligible employees can be captured either on the TERS online portal itself or by completing the spreadsheet template attached to the UIF’s email (also available to download here).

Unfortunately the CSV upload facility is not currently available for these applications, so it is of utmost importance that you ensure that the relevant information is captured correctly in the online portal or spreadsheet. 

To complete the application correctly, the UIF highlights the following critical data fields in particular:

FieldImportant Notes from the UIF
Monthly SalaryThis needs to be the employee’s regular monthly salary and should not be increased in line with the full application period
Remuneration Earned for Hours Worked (Yellow Column on Spreadsheet)This amount must reflect the full lockdown period’s cumulative remuneration, i.e. the amount you have paid your employee between 16 October and 31 December 2020 for the work they’ve done across this full lockdown period but not  payment of advances, leave entitlements or gifts.

Should you have any questions on any of the above, you can contact the UIF on 0800 030 007. Greater detail can also be found in the UIF’s correspondence sent to employers. 

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

New Feature: Custom Beneficiaries

We’ve expanded our beneficiaries functionality so that you can add beneficiaries for custom items that are set up as benefits, deductions or employer contributions. This gives you more flexibility in tailoring the beneficiaries report for your needs, making any payments linked to payroll even easier.

To add a custom beneficiary:

  • Go to Settings > Beneficiaries and select Add under Custom Beneficiary
  • Enter the details for your beneficiary and click Save

Once you have added your custom beneficiary, you can link it to custom items as follows:

  • Go to Settings > Custom Items and select the custom item (or click Add to create one)
  • Tick the checkbox Link to beneficiary
  • Select the Beneficiary Type:
    • ‘Fixed’ should be selected if there is only one beneficiary for this custom item for all employees. You will then need to select the beneficiary from the dropdown list.
    • ‘Different on every employee’ should be selected if different employees have different beneficiaries for this custom item. If you select this option, the beneficiary will need to be specified when adding the custom item to the employee’s payslip.
  • Then click Save

For more information on setting up custom items, head to our help page here.

We hope you love this new feature and that it’ll make your payroll processing more efficient.

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

Revamped Preview Page for Bulk Finalising Payslips

We understand the importance of capturing payroll correctly. Many clients spend countless hours downloading and reviewing the PDF draft payslips for employees before finalising them. We thought that there has to be a better way to review payslip information in bulk! Introducing our new and improved bulk finalisation page.

This newly improved page allows you to use various toggles to show or hide additional payslip information so that you can focus on the information and figures that you want to see, whether this is simply the nett pay for each employee or more detailed information like payslip inputs or payslip values. The recent activity for payslips is now more clearly laid out, which is particularly useful to review if your payroll is prepared by multiple users.

For more information on the various aspects of this page, please refer to our help page here.

Just another way that the SimplePay team is working to improve payroll for you! 

Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll system that makes you more efficient? Sign up for our free 30-day trial here and see just how simple payroll can be.

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

New Pay Frequency: Every 4 Weeks

We’re excited to announce the release of a new pay frequency. In addition to weekly, monthly, bi-weekly and twice a month pay frequencies, you can now also set up pay frequencies with four week cycles. There is no additional charge for the extra functionality and it is automatically available to you.

Employees on this pay frequency will have 13 regular payslips per year, calculated as 52 weeks divided by 4 weeks. As always, SimplePay has one monthly fee and doesn’t charge for the number of payslips that are generated as a result of the pay frequency.

Remember that where employees accrue leave, their accrual per period (the accrual that appears on each payslip) is calculated as Entitlement per cycle / number of pay periods per cycle. Therefore, employees on an annual leave cycle will accrue leave according to the following formula: Annual leave entitlement / 13

If you’d like to use this pay frequency, you can set it up by following the steps in this help article. If you get stuck and need further assistance, or if you have any other queries, please get in touch with our Support team.

Not a SimplePay client but looking for a payroll software provider that cares about your needs, one that listens and takes action, one that doesn’t bill you with unnecessary charges? Find out more about us on our home page or sign up for a free trial.

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

February Adjusted Level 3 Amendments

Last night (1 Feb 2021) President Ramaphosa once again took to the TV screen to update South Africans on the coronavirus pandemic. The arrival of the first set of vaccines and a reduction in cases has allowed the Government to announce some relaxations to adjusted level 3 regulations, which were previously covered in this blog post from 14 January. 

From 1 February, the rules relating to Adjusted level 3 are as follows:

Hotspot & Non-Hotspot Areas
Curfew23:00 – 04:00 daily
Business closing timesNon-essential stores close at 22:00*
GatheringsAll uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses and faith-based institutions are permitted, in line with occupancy limitations, health protocols and social distancing. Remote working is still encouraged where possible.
Beaches, dams, lakes and riversOpen, subject to health protocols and social distancing.
Businesses that must remain closedNight clubs
Sale and distribution of alcoholOffsite consumption
Mon – Thurs: Permitted 10:00-18:00
Fri – Sun: Not permitted**

Onsite consumption
Mon – Sun: Permitted 10:00-22:00 for licensed premises.

*List of establishments which must close by 22:00: Cinemas; theatres; casinos; museums, galleries and archives; gyms and fitness centres; restaurants; venues hosting auctions; bars taverns; shebeens and venues hosting professional sport.

**wineries, wine farms, microbreweries and microdistilleries exception: these institutions may provide alcohol for on and off-site consumption throughout the week under adjusted level 3, provided they adhere to the curfew (22:00), health protocols and social distancing measures.

From the table above you can see that the current adjusted level 3 removes the restrictions on hotspots. It also allows the vast majority of businesses that were forced to close under adjusted level 3 to reopen their doors.

We hope that you have found this information useful and that these relaxations give you a boost for the start of February. 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