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.
In our last blog post, we informed you that the Compensation Fund is in the process of modernising its system, with the aim of developing an integrated online platform for clients. The first phase of the project involves developing a claims management system.
All users will need to be registered to be able to access this online platform. To register, you will first need the documents listed in the next section. You will then be able to do the following:
Pre-registration: You can submit all documents to [email protected] or your nearest Department of Labour office before the 25 September to pre-register for the system before it goes live. You will then have access to the system in the role that you applied for as soon as it goes live.
Regular registration: If you choose not to pre-register, you can register on the system after 1 October 2019. Please note that access is not immediately granted as the information supplied is first required to go through the vetting process.
Documents needed for registration
Company / Organisation registration document
ID document of the director(s) in the registration document
Certified ID or passport copy of the user who will be transacting
Approved User Application Form (provided)
Health Practice Registration Certificate from BHF, where the Health Provider is the primary users. It must have an ID number to prove that it belongs to Health Provider.
Proof of address for all primary users.
Power of Attorney letter for all users. It must be on the company letterhead, whose details correspond with the registration document.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.