New Feature: EMP201 Breakdowns and Variances

If you’re managing a business or department, you know the importance of tracking variances and maintaining an audit trail. Similarly, if you manage the submissions to SARS, it is important to be able to track any changes to your payroll which impact your submission and resubmit if necessary. What if there was a way to make these easier? Well now there is! Introducing the expanded EMP201 web view.

In a previous blog post, we introduced the ETI breakdown, accessible from the EMP201 web view. We have now applied the same concept to other areas of the EMP201, with breakdowns available for PAYE, SDL and UIF. 

Each breakdown shows a list of your employees and the total PAYE, SDL or UIF calculated for each employee. 

Remember, you can view the PAYE, SDL and UIF trace for each employee by going to their profile (announced in this blog post).

We have also created a variance feature for months where more than one EMP201 has been generated. Remember, if you make changes to your payslips after your EMP201 is finalised, a new EMP201 is generated so that you have a clear audit trail for resubmitting to SARS if needed. The breakdowns for any updated EMP201s now also show the differences between the PAYE, SDL, UIF and SDL in the updated EMP201 compared to the previous EMP201. The differences are shown per employee and the total difference is shown at the bottom of the breakdown.

We hope you love this new functionality and the benefits that it provides.

Need more information? The following help articles may be useful:

Not a SimplePay client? The EMP201 form and all functionality covered in this blog post and on our help site are only available to SimplePay clients. 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. Come and experience the joy of stress-free payroll.

Team SimplePay

COVID-19 Support Measure Timeline and Switching Support Options

Update 15 July: The UIF has released a statement that in order for them to authorise the disbursement of TERS benefits, you must enter your Enterprise number or ID number of the bank account holder. Failure to do so will result in delays.

Following on from the President’s speech last Sunday, 12 July, concerns over a spike in coronavirus cases has led to an extension to level 3 of lockdown. The effect of this is that many businesses and their employees will likely have to continue relying upon support to remain operational. In the blog today we want to outline the timelines for the existing COVID-19 support measures, thus helping you in making an informed decision for the coming phase of transition.

Timeline of Support Measures

Dependent on any announcements from the Government, as of 15 July 2020, this is the current timeline for the rolling up of support measures.

1 July 2020

Update 22 July: The UIF has announced an extension of the COVID-19 TERS scheme to 15 August 2020.

COVID-19 TERS scheme ceases to operate, meaning that TERS benefits cannot be claimed for July. Despite this, the Minister announced that there has been no cut off date put forward for claims to be made for the months of April, May or June. Therefore, if you are yet to apply for these months, you should do so as soon as possible.

NB: As per the above update, the home page of the TERS application portal has been altered, with a new message outlining urgent steps for the employer to take, in order for the UIF to be able to authorise payment of applications. Please take a look in case any action on your part is required for claims already submitted.

1 August 2020

35% PAYE deferral reaches completion, meaning that repayments start to become due for the amounts  deferred over the last 4 months, These repayments will be spread equally across the 6 months after the scheme finishes. It appears SARS will calculate these repayments and add them to your Statement of Account – please see question 10 SARS’s FAQ for more detail.

Additional and Extended ETI period closes, meaning that the original ETI sums and eligibility requirements will be back in force.

1 September 2020

SDL Payment Holiday comes to a close, meaning that employers and their employees will have to resume making contributions. SimplePay will automatically start to calculate SDL contributions again come 1 September. We also anticipate SARS to update their channels to allow for these inputs again. No repayments for the months that the holiday was in force will be necessary.

Alternate Support Systems Remaining in Place

We appreciate that the above list of timelines is quite a change in the tides, but we should reiterate that some of these deadlines could be subject to change. Additionally there are still other support measures available to help you with reducing cash outgoings, whilst your business returns to normality. Below is a non-exhaustive list of examples which you may wish to look into: 

Now is a good time to start planning ahead for how to handle this next transition phase and if necessary look into additional support measures.

Moving From TERS to UIF Benefits

If your business remains closed or affected by the pandemic and you have been reliant upon TERS benefits to help support your employees, now is the time to look into switching your employees onto claiming UIF Benefits.

The Department of Employment and Labour and UIF have released the “UIF Benefits – Easy Guide for Electronic Claims” which provides guidance on how your employees can apply for UIF benefits through uFiling, as well as a list of useful contacts. 

To help make this process as hassle free as possible for you, SimplePay generates both the individual UI 19 and UI 2.7 forms, which are necessary for your employees to be able to apply for benefits in relation to reduced working hours, maternity leave or parental leave. Note that the documents required are different for employees applying for illness benefits.

Further guidance on the correct procedure for you to follow for ending employee service is given in our blog from 6 July. Doing this process correctly will help improve your chances of a smooth transition onto UIF benefits.

We hope that the information we have provided proves useful to you. Should you have any questions on how the above relates to SimplePay or where to find further information on the functionality provided please refer to our Help Site, or get in touch with us at [email protected].

Lockdown Update – 29 April

In the blog today we have a clarification on TERS payouts and additional payments by employers. Additionally, we will provide information on possible changes to annuity funds for individuals who are currently drawing down from a living annuity, an expansion to the 35% PAYE deferment as well as other relevant news.

TERS Payouts and Additional Payments by Employers

Update 8 May: If looking for guidance on the calculations relating to the TERS payout and effect of additional employer contributions, please kindly disregard the SAICA guidance below and refer to our latest blog post here.

Update 7 May: The Department for Employment and Labour has not yet started accepting TERS applications for the month of May. They have requested that applicants continue to revisit the website until applications for May become live.

We have received a few queries from employers asking if they may make additional payments to employees after receiving their TERS benefit payouts. Based on our understanding of the scheme as well as other reputable sources, it seems that, not only is this not allowed, but could in fact amount to fraud.

When submitting the TERS application, employers are expected to complete the Leave income during shutdown field with the amount anticipated to be paid to each employee by the company, over and above the TERS payout. The reason for this is that it is taken into consideration in calculating the payout per employee – employers who are able to pay their employees a portion of usual income should do so and will then likely get lower payouts than those employers with zero cash flow.

Failing to accurately declare these amounts and / or subsequently paying additional amounts to employees, could result in employers / employees receiving an “overpayment” from TERS, which in turn amounts to fraud. This opens employers up to potential penalties and legal action.

The South African Institute for Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has recently released a very helpful publication which provides additional information and clarity on the above. The information it contains aligns with information received from the UIF and other stakeholders and we strongly recommend that if you are participating in TERS that you read it  to ensure that you are applying the scheme correctly.

35% PAYE Deferment Update

The number of businesses which can defer the payment of 35% of their PAYE liability without any penalties or interest has increased. The annual turnover threshold has been increased from R50 million to R100 million, increasing the number of businesses that can benefit from this short term cash flow relief.

Businesses with a turnover in excess of R100 million can also apply for this relief, which applications will be dealt with on a case by case basis. The business must prove that it was materially negatively affected by the lockdown, which appears a very ambiguous statement. We are hoping for additional clarity in the coming days.

More information on this can be found on our second lockdown recap blog here.

Delay in Tourism Relief Fund Payouts

The Department for Tourism has delayed the release of funding it has allocated to companies based in the tourism sector, due to a legal challenge. It is awaiting the verdict to be handed down upon whether it is deemed racially discriminatory, that applicants to the fund must be BEE compliant to qualify.

The final verdict shall be released in the next few days, after which it will become apparent whether the allocation of funds can remain, or whether they need to be re-examined.

Annuity Funds

In the  SARS draft explanatory note for the approaching amended bill, a new proposal has been made with regards to helping individuals receiving monies from living annuity funds. This is not directly relevant to payroll, but may assist you during the lockdown period.

There have been changes proposed to the amount of an individual’s annuity fund which can be withdrawn, resulting in added flexibility. Rather than having to wait for the anniversary date of the annuity, it is proposed that for the 4 months between May and August the amounts withdrawn can be altered. This can benefit individuals in two ways:

  1. The heightened band (17.5-20%), increases the amount of money that can be withdrawn, meaning that individuals who need immediate cash flow can gain access to it, by increasing their periodic withdrawal.
  2. The lower band (0.5-2.5%), allows individuals to delay the sale of investments in shares which have underperformed, till a more opportune time.

We hope that this information proves useful to you. If you have any queries on how the above relates to payroll and the SimplePay system, please feel free to get in touch with our customer support team at [email protected].

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay