Please take note of the following issues and other matters regarding SARS eFiling:
(1) Consolidated Profiles
SARS is consolidating profiles where payroll administrators or individuals have more than one profile on eFiling.
For payroll administrators, SARS is now authenticating all existing users and migrating them to one single profile.
Individuals with multiple profiles will be required to choose a primary login from a list after logging into eFiling with any one of the profiles. Once the primary login is chosen, the indivdual must link the other logins as “Portfolios” to his/her profile.
The role in which you act is referred to as the SARS eFiling Portfolio. Only Tax Practitioner and Organisation portfolios can have multiple tax entities loaded on SARS eFiling, while Individuals cannot. Therefore, if you are a SimplePay client that does payroll for multiple firms, you should use the Organisation portfolio.
The 3 types of Portfolios referred to above can be defined as:
Individual: A person acting on his/her own behalf for his/her own taxes
Tax Practitioner: A Tax Practitioner that is registered with a recognised controlling body, acting on behalf of another tax paying entity and authorised by a signed Power of Attorney.
Organisation: A person acting as a representative of a tax paying entity, either as a representative taxpayer or as an appointed representative with a signed Power of Attorney.
(3) Tax Certificates not Pre-populating for Individuals
An error occurs on SARS eFiling under certain circumstances when an individual completes his or her ITR12 (Income Tax return):
When completing an ITR12, the tax certificate information is pre-populated in the annual return. However, when the individual saves the return and then requests a calculation, the “Creation wizard” defaults the “Unemployment” questions as YES, and the tax certificate that was linked is unlinked and is no longer available.
SARS is working on this issue. The workaround to re-link the tax certificate is:
The user must set all questions relating to unemployment as NO in the “Creation wizard”
SAVE the return, and then
REFRESH the DATA.
However, this will have the effect that the user must complete all the relevant information.
Sometimes small changes make a big difference, so you may spot some modifications that we have made to leave.
A new report
We have added a new report called Leave Days Report. This report shows the specific days that employees have taken/will take leave for the specified leave type and period. It complements our current Leave Report, which shows you the total number of leave days taken during the period, made up of the individual days shown on the Leave Days Report. This added leave report will simplify your payroll duties, as you can confirm leave dates with employees or managers. It is also useful in the management of employees and communication with other departments.
Visual tweaks to entitlement policies
We have made it clearer to see whether or not an employee is on the default company leave policy. When going to an employee’s profile and clicking on Leave > Entitlement Policies > Edit, (company default) will now display next to the leave policy if the employee is on the company’s default policy. In addition, we have updated the heading to display as Active Entitlement Policies.
You can still see the company default policy by going to Settings > Leave > View (next to the leave type) and scrolling to the bottom. However, we have changed the heading to Active Entitlement Policies (company defaults) to align with the changes made in the employees’ profiles.
We hope that these small changes will make a big difference in your payroll experience. If you need any help with leave management, refer to our help page here. For more information on reports, click here.
The 2019 tax season officially starts on 1 August 2019. However, if an individual makes use of eFiling or the MobiApp to complete their tax return, they are now able to do so, as filing opened on these platforms on Monday 1 July 2019.
Legislation requires that all employees receive a copy of their IRP5/IT3(a) after the tax year ends in February. This should now have been done, whether in digital or hard copy format. Employees can retrieve their tax certificates themselves via self-service on SimplePay, if this function has been made available by the payroll administrator. For more information on this, refer to our help page here.
Individuals should also take note of the following information:
SARS has revealed a new look eFiling website, which will hopefully improve the filing experience. For an optimal experience with eFiling, SARS recommends that a web browser should not be older than the following: Chrome v41, Firefox v55, Edge v13, Safari v10 or Opera v55
This year, if an individual meets ALL of the following criteria, then they do not need to submit a tax return:
Total income from employment for the year before tax is less than R500 000. This was raised from R350 000 last year.
Employment income should be received from ONE employer for the full tax year, and NO OTHER EMPLOYER.
There should be no other form of INCOME earned (e.g. car allowance, business income, and rental income, taxable interest or income from another job)
The individual doesn’t have any additional allowable tax related deductions to claim (e.g. medical expenses, retirement annuity contributions and travel expenses).
If there is uncertainty about whether a tax return is required, this can be checked using this SARS tool.
We are happy to announce that we have increased our bulk actions functionality to include bulk actions for once-off payslips. If you have multiple employees with once-off payslips and need to add items to these payslips, you can now do so in bulk by going to Employees > Bulk Actions.
From here, you can select either Payslip Inputs or Clocking Imports. Then click on Switch to once-off payslips and capture your data accordingly. Please take note of the following:
Payslip Inputs: As always, only once-off items (i.e. no regular items) can be added to once-off payslips.
Clocking Imports: Only custom items with Payslip Inputs are supported for this method.
To read more about these functions, the following help pages are available:
The 2019 Employer Annual Reconciliation filing season will soon be opening on 17 April 2019 (it is usually 1 April but has been delayed due to system upgrades at SARS). You have until 31 May 2019 to submit your Annual Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) for the period 1 March 2018 – 28 February 2019 to SARS.
SimplePay automatically generates the IRP5s / IT3(a)s and EMP501 needed for year-end filing with SARS and these are available under the Filing section of the menu. Submissions of your EMP501 can be done via eFiling or the [email protected] application. You may need to update your [email protected] application to the latest version, 6.9.4. 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]
As always, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.
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.
SimplePay is all about you, our users. So when you asked for more power to customise the system to suit your payroll needs, we listened. We’re delighted to announce our latest feature – the ability to create custom items that follow the same tax and payroll rules as system items.
This new feature allows you to:
Create multiple items of a certain type:
Customise the names of these items. For example, you may want to differentiate between different types of commissions.
Map different versions of a specific type of item to different Xero accounts. For example, you may want to give an annual bonus to two different employees but you want one of them to be mapped to an account in Xero called “Director’s Costs” and the other to an account in Xero called “Employee Costs”. You can add the bonus to the payslips as two different items.
How does it work?
When creating a custom item (Settings > Custom Items > Add), there is now an option to select create a copy of an existing system item. Select the system item that you wish to use and give it a custom name. You can then add it to your payslips in the same way you would the system item of that type (Regular Inputs or Payslip Inputs).
Read our help page here for more information on creating custom items.
ETI is aimed at reducing youth unemployment by providing a tax incentive to employers who hire young workers aged 18 to 29. It was meant to end on 28 February 2019, with no further tax credits being granted. However, towards the end of 2018 it was confirmed that, due to the success of ETI, it would be extended until 2029.
As of 1 March 2019, the ETI remuneration brackets have also been amended to account for inflation. Employers must still pay employees who work 160 hours per month a minimum of R2 000 in order to claim ETI. However, the maximum that employees can earn and still qualify for ETI has now increased to R6 500 (from R6 000). As a result of this increase, the R2 001 – R4 000 bracket has also been amended. Employers can claim a R1 000 tax credit per month for the first 12 months for employees earning R2 000 to R4 500.
The new remuneration brackets are as follows:
ETI monthly tax credit in first 12 months of employment
ETI monthly tax credit in second 12 months of employment
You were onto something! Thanks to your suggestions on ways of making SimplePay even greater, we are happy to announce our newest feature! While we have built our system on simplicity and compliance, we understand that sometimes you have unique needs. Our new feature therefore gives you the ability to add your own fields to an employee’s Basic Info screen.
Want to capture an employee’s nickname or cellphone number? Add a custom “Text” field.
Want to record the date that employees completed their orientation training? Add a custom “Date” field.
Want to record an employee’s marital status? Add a custom “Dropdown” field with options to select from.
You can now capture the information that you want, with added features coming soon!
To learn more about how this functionality works, head over to our help page here.
We’d love to hear from you if this feature enhances your payroll experience. In addition, if you have any trouble with this new feature or would like some further guidance, please reach out to our friendly support team who would be happy to help.
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 2019, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2019/2020 period, as announced in the 2019 Budget Speech on 20 February 2019. If you are still processing payroll for the 2018/2019 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:
2019/2020 Tax Rates
The tax rates for individuals have remained the same as last year, with only the tax thresholds and rebates increasing.
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 increased from R78 150 to R79 000 because the primary rebate has increased from R14 067 to R14 220.
The ‘tax free’ portion for the subsistence allowance** has increased as follows:
The allowance for incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R128.00 to R134.00.
The allowance for meals and incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R416.00 to R435.00.
**It is important to note that the subsistence allowance is only a guideline provided by SARS and is not legislated.
The Medical Aid Tax Credits have remained unchanged at R310 for the main member and first dependant and R209 for every additional dependant. Additionally no changes were announced for the common payroll components of Travel Allowance, 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.