Additional Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) 2021

This blog is a follow up to our previous blog post dated 30 July 2021, regarding the Expanded ETI scheme being introduced by the National Treasury and SARS for the period of 1 August 2021 to 30 November 2021. 

On 12 August 2021, the National Treasury and SARS released draft legislation aiming to assist businesses in light of COVID-19 restrictions. Amongst other things, these Bills replicate the additional ETI that was rolled out in April 2020.  

The ETI relief eligibility requirements and benefits which are now being introduced will be very much the same as the ETI measures introduced in April 2020 and are discussed in the draft explanatory note released by SARS. In summary, the measures being introduced are:

  1. A R750 increase in the monthly maximum ETI allowable for qualifying employees.
  2. An expansion of the “qualifying employees” criteria to include employees who:
  1. no longer qualify due to their 24 months of ETI entitlement being exhausted;
  2. were ineligible due to having been employed before 1 October 2013; or
  3. were ineligible due to being aged between 30 and 65.
  1. The removal of the “gross up” calculation during this period for wages earned by employees working less than 160 hours per month. The requirement that ETI claimable must be “grossed down” is unchanged by the amendments.
  2. Monthly ETI reimbursements instead of bi-annual reimbursements for the duration of the Expanded ETI scheme (Aug – Nov).
  3. The introduction of an anti avoidance measure to limit abuse of the process where the employer tries to claim ETI after reducing the employee’s wage.

Important Points to Note:

Additional ETI Amounts

As in the previous ETI expansion in 2020, the amount of ETI claimable has been increased across the board by an amount of R750. As before, the ETI claimable for each employee may be adjusted on a sliding scale depending on the income range applicable to the employee. The effect of this change on each of the three income bands is discussed in detail on our Additional ETI (COVID-19) help page. 

Definition of Monthly Remuneration

The definition of monthly remuneration has been amended for this period by deleting the provision that it must be ‘grossed up’ if the employee’s ‘employed and remunerated’ hours for the month are less than 160.

The rationale for this is that many employees have been forced to work less hours during the recent lockdown and restricted work periods caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and strictly applying the grossing up rule during this period would defeat the purpose of this relief

This also means that employees who previously did not qualify for ETI due to low ‘employed and remunerated’ hours may now qualify. 

Minimum Wage Qualifying Requirement

There is a Wage Qualifying requirement for employees to accrue ETI benefits which specifies that an employee must be paid the higher of:

  1.  the relevant national minimum wage;
  2.  An applicable industry wage regulating measure; or
  3. R2000.

Option C has been removed and does not have effect over this period, which means that an employer who is not subject to the National Minimum Wage Act and also does not abide by an industry set minimum wage, will not qualify for ETI at all during August to November 2021.

Extended Age Eligibility

In an aim to increase the number of employees who would qualify for ETI, the two age-related criteria are amended for the period August – November 2021. The result of these changes are that the following employees are now eligible to claim the Additional ETI: 

  • Employees aged 18 – 29 who no longer qualified for ETI as the full allowable 24 months of ETI had already been claimed;
  • Employees aged 18 – 29 who were ineligible as they were employed before 1 October 2013; and
  • Employees aged 30 – 65 who were ineligible due to their age and/or they were employed before 1 October 2013.

“Grossing down” of ETI Value

If an employee is employed for less than 160 hours in a month, the allowed ETI must be grossed down based on the ratio of ‘employed and paid remuneration’ hours to 160 hours. 

Monthly Reimbursement of ETI

To assist employer cash flow and as part of the relief provided by the Expanded ETI program, employers will be allowed to claim excess ETI at the end of every month from August 2021 to November 2021, as opposed to the usual twice per year.

The special ETI relief that potentially increases the total value of the ETI starts in August 2021, which is the last month of the current 6-month cycle.

Interim tax certificates for the 2022 tax year will therefore include one month (August 2021) of the enhanced ETI tax relief period. 

Now that employers could potentially have an increased ETI value for August, it is important to note that if the full ETI amount owing is not claimed as described above on the August EMP201 (due by 7 September 2021), any excess ETI owing to the employer will be forfeited.

At the end of this period, the normal 6-monthly ETI refund cycle will apply from the month after the end of the 2021 Expanded ETI relief period. 

SimplePay System Updates

In keeping with our aim and promise to keep you compliant, our team have implemented the updates required to apply the Expanded ETI rules retroactively to 1 August 2021 in time for the EMP201 deadline, being 7 September 2021. 

In order to claim additional ETI for your employees, you will need to have this set up on your company profile. To do this simple go to:

Settings → Payroll Calculations → Additional ETI (COVID-19) 

Note that the 2021 date range will automatically be selected and the Additional ETI calculated for you if you already had this set up on your profile and claimed additional ETI for your employees in 2020

Employers making use of the Additional ETI functionality for the first time will be required to set the Additional ETI date range and select ‘calculate’ in order to effect the Additional ETI for 2021.

Should you have any questions regarding our system and how to effect the above, please see our Additional ETI (COVID-19) help page or feel free to contact [email protected] for assistance.

Any further queries on details or implementation of the Expanded ETI rules can be directed to the SARS helpline on 0800 00 7277.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Recap for June

Welcome to the second half of 2020! The year so far has been a bumpy ride and while we realise that the journey is not yet over, we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank you for your support during these first six months. Over this period we have strived for continued excellence in meeting your payroll needs despite the challenge of ever-changing regulations and processes, and thank you for your patience and understanding during periods of high support queries.

As we move forward into the latter half of 2020, here’s a quick recap of the new features and pertinent information from the last month:

NEW FEATURES

Amongst other smaller or less visible improvements and updates, our fantastic development team managed to introduce the following new features in June:

Web View for Payslips

The web view for payslips allows you to see the payslip items that do not impact nett pay directly without having to open the PDF version of the payslip. This view also gives you access to additional traces, such as UIF. Read more.

UIF, SDL, and Retirement Deduction Traces

The web view for a payslip now allows you to see traces for how UIF, SDL and retirement deductions are calculated. Read more.

ETI Breakdown and ETI Trace

A new web view for EMP201s was introduced, with an ETI breakdown and ETI trace, allowing you to see exactly how the ETI on an EMP201 is calculated. Read more.

Download UIF Files and Responses

The introduction of TERS lead to an increased importance being placed on the UIF DecIaration and its timely, monthly submission. In response, we expanded our functionality to include downloads of the actual file submitted to the UIF, as the responses for the UIF submission. Read more.

Deleting Leave Requests

We expanded our functionality for deleting leave to provide a breakdown of leave that cannot be deleted as they are part of a finalised payslip. We also allow the option of deleting leave requests superficially or its entirety. Read more.

End Service Checklist

The End Service Checklist reminds you about positive leave balances, savings and employer loans when ending an employee’s service from their profile. Read more.

Wow! All of that in one month! Pretty cool, right? 

Besides cool features, we also brought you important information updates. This is covered in the next section. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Additional COVID-19 ETI

The rules for the additional ETI as a relief measure were amended by the government. Our system has been updated to factor these new rules in, so that it’s one less thing for you to worry about. Read more

Advance TERS Payments

We clarified how to deal with situations where you wish to provide advances to employees for TERS payments that are delayed or still being processed by the UIF. Read more.

TERS May and June Applications

The June applications for TERS opened and then subsequently were halted due to technical issues. They are likely to reopen over the weekend or early next week. The May application remains open. Read more..

POPI

The Protection of Personal Information Act came into force and became law on 1 July. Due to our stringent security measures, SimplePay has been compliant with these regulations long before they even came into effect. Read more.

We hope that the second half of the year marks a turning point and sees things improving and normalising. Whatever the coming months hold, we’ll continue to be here to support you and remain committed to providing you with high quality support, informational updates and maybe even a few more features.

If you require assistance, please head over to our extensive help site, which we are regularly updating. If your query cannot be answered using the help site, please reach out to our support team.

Not a SimplePay client but interested in the functionality mentioned in this blog post? 

The good news is that we offer a 30 day free trial and sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here. Join now and experience the joy of stress free payroll and SARS filing for years to come 🙂

Team SimplePay