Interim Filing Season Now Open

The Interim Employer Reconciliation filing season with SARS is now open and ends on 31 October 2019. The interim reconciliation covers the six-month transaction period from 1 March to 31 August 2019, and the final annual reconciliation in April/May 2020 will cover the full tax year.

During the reconciliation process, you are required to submit an EMP501 return confirming or correcting the amounts declared for PAYE, SDL, UIF and ETI, as well as the payments made. This ensures that your EMP201 submissions are correct and up-to-date. In addition, failure to complete the interim reconciliation means that you will forfeit any ETI credits that have overrun in the first 6 months and will therefore not receive any payouts for this.

Remember that SimplePay automatically generates the IRP5s / IT3(a)s and EMP501 needed for bi-annual filing with SARS. SimplePay also automatically incorporates any new legislative changes, such as new codes or tax rules, simplifying the filing process for you.

The reconciliation process can be completed using [email protected] (recommended) , eFiling (for less than 50 tax certificates), or at a SARS branch (for less than 5 certificates). Version 6.9.7 of [email protected] was released today, 23 September 2019. You can download it here and read up about the changes incorporated in the latest update
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]

If you have any queries or need any assistance, please contact our support team.

Team SimplePay

Interest Rate Change for Employer Loans

The South African Reserve Bank has decided to decrease the repurchase rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points, effective from 19 July 2019.

The official interest rate used for calculating the fringe benefit on low or interest free loans to employees is set as 100 basis points above the repo rate. This means that the interest rate used for calculating the fringe benefit on employer loans decreases from 7.75% to 7.5%, effective 19 July 2019.

If you’re a SimplePay user, you do not need to take any action to implement the new interest rate, as we have already updated our system to reflect these changes. Therefore, all payslips dated and finalised from 19 July onwards will use the new interest rate. If a payslip dated after 19 July was finalised before the 19 July (i.e. it was finalised in advance), you will need to unfinalise the payslip and then finalise it again for the changes to take effect. As we have built our system to be intuitive, the previous interest rate will be used if you are still preparing payslips dated before the 19 July, regardless of what date you physically finalise the payslip.

If you are unsure of how to capture employee loans or calculate the fringe benefit on them, refer to our help page here.

Team SimplePay

Override Payslip End Dates in Bulk

We are happy to announce the release of a new feature that allows you to override payslip end dates in bulk. This feature is used to extend or shorten the payment period for a specified payslip.

This feature is particularly useful for companies that have an annual shutdown and pay their employees upfront for the period that they are on leave. If an employee is paid upfront for their leave period and the payslip end date is not changed to reflect this, then it is likely that the employee will overpay tax. This is because an employee’s year-to-date income earned and the length of period in which it was earned is used to calculate tax. Therefore, payslip dates must accurately depict the period for which the income is earned to ensure that the tax calculation is accurate.

Of course, overriding payslip end dates in bulk is not exclusively for annual shutdowns and this feature can be used in various contexts.

For more information on how to use this bulk action, refer to our help articles:

We hope that this new feature enhances your payroll processing experience. If you have an annual shutdown in December, be sure to bookmark this blog post for use later in the year.

If you need any further assistance, please reach out to our support team.

Team SimplePay

Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

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.

Team SimplePay

Tax Return Submissions Are Open

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.

Team SimplePay

Bulk Actions for Once-off Payslips

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:

Bulk Actions

Clocking Imports

If you need further assistance with this new functionality, please contact our support team.

Team SimplePay

Customise System Items

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:
    • Commission
    • Once-off Commission
    • Employer Loans
    • Garnishees
    • Maintenance Orders
    • Savings
  • 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 Changes to Remuneration Brackets

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:

Monthly
Remuneration
ETI monthly tax credit
in first 12 months
of employment
ETI monthly tax credit
in second 12 months
of employment
R2 001 – R4 500R1 000R500
R4 501 – R6 500R1 000 – [0.5 x
(Monthly Remuneration
– R4 500)]
R1 000 – [0.25 x
(Monthly Remuneration
– R4 500) ]

As always, we take the hassle out of payroll for you and have already updated the system to reflect these changes.

If you have any questions regarding ETI, read more on our help page here. Alternatively, contact our friendly support team.

Team SimplePay



New Feature! Custom Employee Info Fields

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.

Team SimplePay

Increased COIDA Threshold

The Minister of Labour announced in Government Gazette No. 42092 that there would be an increase in the OID earnings threshold
under Section 83 (8) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act no. 130 of 1993).

As from 1 March 2019, the maximum amount on which an assessment of an employer shall be calculated on will be R458 520.

This change has been made effective in your OID report on SimplePay. To access this report, go to Filing > OID (Workman’s Comp) Return.

When downloading the report for the tax year ending 28-02-2019, the threshold of R430 944 for 2018/2019 will be displayed as the 2019 tax year cap, while the new threshold of R458 520 will be displayed under the 2020 tax year cap.

When downloading the report for the tax year ending 28-02-2020, both caps will be displayed as R458 520, as the cap for 2020/2021 has not yet been announced.

Team SimplePay