EMP501 Reconciliation to Reflect 2020 SDL Holiday

Background

As part of the government’s efforts to assist the cash flow of employers during the initial 2020 Covid-19 lockdown months, provisions were added to the Disaster Management Tax Act to relax payment of SDL to SARS for the period of 1 May 2020 to 31 August 2020 (the “affected months”).

SimplePay followed the guidelines from government, which stated that the correct way to record this payment holiday would be by replacing the 1% percentage in the SDL calculation by 0% on the monthly EMP201’s as a temporary change for the 4-month period. We also followed this change through to our bi-annual filing documents (EMP501 and tax certificates).

Declaration to Reflect SDL Holiday

With filing season open, SARS have identified that some employers are submitting EMP501’s and tax certificates with SDL recorded for the relief period, when it should be nil. As a result, the reconciliation process automatically flags SDL as payable for those months and thus overdue, which then results in interest and late payment penalties being incorrectly levied against the employer.

Last week, we notified you that SARS has flagged this issue and has requested that employers double check their SDL figures when completing the reconciliation. Although we were confident that this would not be an issue for most of our customers, we chose to pass the notice on, to cater for any customers who do not make use of the filing documents generated by SimplePay (e.g. those who outsource submissions).

We apologise for any concern that this notification may have caused. Our development team have run additional tests on customer data and we would like to assure you that the SDL is recorded correctly on the EMP501 and tax certificates generated by SimplePay.

You can confirm this by opening the PDF version of your EMP501, where you’ll see the SDL values for May to August as zero under the SDL heading.

Credit for Payments Made

If, despite the correct declaration of 0%, you in fact paid the SDL to SARS for the affected months, the SDL amount paid will be indicated as an unallocated credit on your statement of account. The SDL for this period will again be declared as 0% on your 2021 EMP501 reconciliation as well as the IRP5/IT3(a) certificates.


If you have any questions on any of the information provided in this blog and how it further relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Submission Channel Consistency Requested for 2021 Employers Filing Season

In a previous blog post, we discussed the opening of the 2021 employers filing season which runs from 1 April to 31 May 2021 and many employers should now have submitted or be in the process of finalising their filing for 2021.

An important point to note concerning your filing is that SARS requires that employers be consistent in the submission channel used to submit their EMP501 reconciliation and tax certificates for a particular filing period. For example, where an employer submitted their EMP501 reconciliation through SARS eFiling for the August 2020 interim submissions, the employer must not revise their first submission through SARS [email protected], or vice versa. 

Error Reports

As part of the filing process, SARS will recalculate the PAYE and SDL payable for each employee from the amounts which are reported on the submitted tax certificate. 

SARS will then compare the amounts they calculated against the PAYE and SDL amounts that are stated on that tax certificate where there are any significant differences between the two amounts, SARS will issue an error report with details of the tax certificates that have differences.

These error reports will be sent via the same channel that the employer used to submit the EMP501 and the tax certificates. For example, where an employer has submitted their EMP501 reconciliation through SARS eFiling, the error report will be sent to them via the SARS eFiling portal only and will not be accessible via other means.

Re-submission of Tax Certificates

In line with the above principle, corrections to the certificates must only be resubmitted using the same channel that was used for the initial filing.

Changing Submission Channels

You will have the option to use a different submission channel for the next filing period but must again be consistent during that filing period in making use of the same channel for any resubmissions.


If you have any questions on how the information provided in this blog relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Keep well and stay safe.

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

Huge ETI Update and Improvements

Managing Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) claims can be difficult and time-consuming. However, it can also be highly beneficial for many employers and is well worth taking advantage of where you can.

Over the years we’ve taken note of the difficulties faced by our clients and have used this feedback to improve our system and your experience. Our team has been hard at work to deliver a massive ETI update, which will greatly improve and simplify your ability to correctly claim ETI and includes the following changes:

Backdating: You can now set an effective date for an employee’s ETI that’s in the past. You can also do the same for other ETI settings, like minimum wage. This allows you to update your ETI setup so that your ETI on SimplePay matches your records ensuring that your current claims are correct. In some cases, it may even result in further claims for ETI.

More effective handling of under-claims: SARS has specific rules for how ETI under-claims should be handled. More info can be found on our help site, but in short, you are only allowed to claim for ETI that you under-claimed in the current bi-annual filing period. For example, we are currently in the 1 March to 31 August bi-annual filing period, therefore under-claims for periods before 1 March will be forfeited. Any under-claims for the current bi-annual filing period have to be claimed in the current month if the ETI is for a month whose EMP201 deadline has already passed. The system will now assist you in remaining compliant with this and with making these claims.

Better auditing: Seeing ETI values change on your EMP201s has often been a cause of confusion for our clients. Going forward, the system will allow you to track the source of such changes, providing a clearer audit trail and helping remove some of the stress and confusion around ETI.

Stay in sync with employee information: When correcting a setup error which impacts ETI, (such as changing an employee’s date of birth), you now have the ability to recalculate historic ETI immediately. This functionality gives you the ability to claim historic errors immediately, rather than having to wait until bi-annual filing. As always, we advise clients to be very cautious when entering information used for calculating ETI.

The following help articles provide more information on ETI and how it works (including the changes mentioned above):

Reminder:

It’s important to note that the August EMP201 is the last time you’ll be able to claim ETI under-claimed for the period March 2020 to July 2020. Any ETI for the current bi-annual filing period that was not claimed will have to be forfeited after the August EMP201.

Want to claim ETI but don’t have the right payroll software to help you? 

SimplePay clients love having a hassle-free payroll experience that keeps them compliant and keeps up to date with changes in the payroll landscape. Not convinced? We offer a 30 day free trial that lets you see just how easy payroll can be. You can find out more and sign up here.

Team SimplePay

July Recap Blog

With yet another month in 2020 having come to an end, it is time to recap on the month of July and look ahead to what August has to offer!

COVID-19 TERS Extension

Update 4 August: The cut-off point for April and May TERS applications has been extended and closure will be subject to 14 day’s notice – Read more here.

As was covered in our blog on 21 July 2020, deputy Minister Moloi announced the extension of COVID-19 TERS to 15 August, aligning this with the extension to the Disaster Management Act. 

Applications for April and May close today, 31 July 2020, but we are still waiting for an announcement on the opening of applications for July.

Please also note that as previously mentioned the home page of the TERS application portal has been altered. A new message outlining urgent steps for the employer to take, in order for the UIF to be able to authorise payment of an application. Please take a look in case any action on your part is required for claims already submitted.

Use of the Reduced Working Time Category to Claim Benefits

The UIF has stated that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of applications for UIF under the reduced working time benefits code. This shows that a significant number of employees are likely receiving financial support through their accrued UIF benefits of receiving these through TERS. The UIF and Department of Labour have reiterated that TERS is the better option for employees as long as it remains in force.

In our blog about the time spans of the different COVID-19 support measures, we detailed the need to move employees across to UIF benefits upon the conclusion of the TERS scheme. With the abovementioned extension to TERS, switching employees should be delayed until at least 15 August 2020.

SARS Auto-Assessment Process

As mentioned in our previous blog from 7 July, SARS is rolling out a new, streamlined individual tax return service in August. Rather than having to manually complete your individual tax return, it may be automatically assessed if you meet SARS’ conditions. The new service will be run throughout the month of August and provided SARS has all the necessary tax information they need (IRP5 etc.) you and your employees will receive an SMS inviting you to review your statement and accept it if you are in agreement with it.

For more information on the scheme and an FAQ you can visit the SARS Auto-Assessment page.

Steps to Follow

  1. Log into eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.
  2. Click on “Tax Returns” 
  3. A pop up will appear stating “SARS has simulated a tax return for you. Click “Continue”.
  4. Once the ITR12 has loaded you can either select “Accept” or “Edit Return”.

If you have selected accept, you will be redirected to a list of your submitted ITR12s, or alternatively if you wish to edit your ITR12 you can do so.

If you have accepted the tax return SARS should issue you with an ITA34 Notice of Assessment. After you have received this that’s it, you’re done!

SARS has also provided video guides which you can find here.

Bi-Annual Tax Period

The end of August marks the halfway point through the tax year, meaning that soon after it will be time to start preparing for interim filing. Due to SimplePay’s continuing commitment to make your payroll life straightforward, we will endeavour to make sure that we have completed all necessary preparations and testing for when the interim biannual filing opens.

We hope that you have found the above information useful. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.co.za.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

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

Update: New Individual Tax Returns Process

Individual Tax Returns

Back in May we sent out a blog reminding you of the annual employer reconciliation deadline, but also informing you of a delay to the deadline for your employees’ individual tax returns (ITR12s) from their expected opening date in July. This year, the window for manually entered individual tax returns opens on 1 September 2020. SARS has, however, also subsequently unveiled a new additional returns process which will be put into action over the month of August.

Under the “auto-assessment process” employees can have their returns filed and assessed without needing to complete the usual manual process through one of SARS’s channels. On 1 August, provided that individuals have had all their necessary information declared to SARS, they should receive an SMS. This will communicate an invitation to review a draft assessment on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp. If the draft assessment is correct, they can accept it, meaning that they don’t need to manually complete and file a tax return through one of SARS’s regular channels in September. Should a refund be due, it should follow within a week. The process that would need to be followed if the individual owed SARS was not mentioned. We will remain vigilant for any elaboration on this.

A further point to note is that if at the start of August, SARS have not yet received all the necessary information for an employee, but subsequently receive it during August, SARS will invite the employee to file early under the same system.

Come 1 September, if employees have not been auto-assessed, or chose to decline the draft assessment, they will be able to start the filing process via eFiling or the MobiApp. Additionally, there will be some availability for filing in branches, by prior appointment only. 

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.co.za.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: ETI Breakdown and ETI Trace

Despite the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue our commitment to giving you the best payroll experience. Our team have been hard at work to bring you a web view of EMP201, an ETI breakdown and an ETI trace:

You can now see the information contained in the monthly EMP201s without opening the PDF version of the document. To do this, go to Filing > Monthly Submissions and click on Web in the EMP201 section.

The EMP201 for the month will be opened, showing you a breakdown of the EMP201 figures. You can now see more details for ETI by clicking on the amount next to ETI Calculated.

This will give you a breakdown of the ETI calculated for each employee:

You can then click on the amount next to an employee’s name to see a the ETI Trace, which shows how the ETI for that employee is calculated.

If there is no ETI calculated for the employee, the ETI trace will also show you if the employee has not been enabled for ETI, if they do not meet certain criteria, or if their earnings fell above the ETI threshold.

Pretty cool, right? We hope you love these new features.

If you have any queries regarding the new feature or the information that it contains, reach out to our Support team.

Team SimplePay

New SARS Code and System Item for Disaster Relief Funds

There are several organisations outside of government, such as the South African Future Trust (SAFT), providing COVID-19 relief funds for employers to keep paying their employees. The relief is usually offered in the form of a loan to employers and is paid directly to employees. To assist with the special tax treatment and reporting requirements for these payments (see below), SimplePay has created a new system item: COVID-19 Disaster Relief.

Tax Treatment

As outlined by the Disaster Tax Relief Bill, these payments are not included in remuneration for PAYE, SDL and UIF and therefore are not subject to tax. Although these payments are not included in remuneration for PAYE, SDL and UIF, they are included in remuneration for the purposes of calculating ETI.

Reporting on Tax Certificates

SARS has created a new tax code, 3724, for reporting these payments on IRP5s/IT3(a)s. This is outlined on the SARS website here.

Using the COVID-19 Disaster Relief System Item

To make use of the new system item created by SimplePay:

  1. Go to an employee’s profile
  2. Click on Add next to Payslip Inputs
  3. Under Other, select COVID-19 Disaster Relief
  4. Enter the Amount of the relief paid to the employee
  5. Click Save

You will notice that the payment is listed on the payslip as a Benefit and does not impact the Nett pay payable to employees. This is because the relief payments are made directly to employees by the organisation. The system item is simply used for satisfying the tax and reporting requirements and not to facilitate payments.

These details are also outlined in our help page here.

Should you need further assistance, please contact our support team.

Team SimplePay

Updates in SimplePay for the 2020/2021 Tax Year

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 2020, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2020/2021 period, as announced in the 2020 Budget Speech on 26 February 2020. If you are still processing payroll for the 2019/2020 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:

2020/2021 Tax Rates

The tax rates for individuals have remained the same as last year, with the tax brackets, thresholds and rebates increasing.

Taxable Income (R)Rate of Tax (R)
0 – 205 90018% of taxable income
205 901 – 321 60037 062 + 26% of taxable income above 205 900
321 601 – 445 10067 144 + 31% of taxable income above 321 600
445 101 – 584 200105 429 + 36% of taxable income above 445 100
584 201 – 744 800155 505 + 39% of taxable income above 584 200
744 801 – 1 577 300218 139 + 41% of taxable income above 744 800
1 577 301 and above559 464 + 45% of taxable income above 1 577 300

The tax threshold has increased from R79 000 to R83 100 because the primary rebate has increased from R14 220 to R14 958.

Medical Aid Tax Credit

The medical aid tax credit has increased as follows:

  • The tax credit for the main member and first dependant has increased from R310.00 to R319.00 per month.
  • For every additional dependant, the tax credit has increased from R209.00 to R215.00 per month.

Subsistence Allowance

The ‘tax free’ portion for the subsistence allowance** has increased as follows:

  • The allowance for incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R134.00 to R139.00.
  • The allowance for meals and incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R435.00 to R452.00.

**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 kilometer for reimbursive travel allowances has increased to 398 cents.
  • 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

Foreign Income Exemption

A cap of R1.25 million per year has been placed on the exemption of foreign income earned by South African tax residents. Any foreign employment income earned over and above R1.25 million will be subject to tax for the particular year of assessment.

No changes were announced for the common payroll components of 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.

The SimplePay Team