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

Change in Tax Rules for Bargaining Council Funds

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.

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

Sparkling New User Interface Design!

We have officially launched our new user interface design!

We hope that you like our new look, which is designed to make it easier and quicker for you to find what you are looking for. The new user interface has a fresh and modern look and feel, with more user-friendly navigation. Of course, we haven’t lost sight of your needs and all the usual features and functions that you have come to expect with SimplePay are still there.

Take a moment to explore the new user interface design. You will discover:

Improved Navigation:

  • The tabs that were previously at the top of the screen have been moved to a menu on the left-hand side.
  • No more overlooking the actions on the right of the screen, as these now appear on the top of the screen when clicking on a menu item.

Shortened and more relevant terminology:

  • Submissions is now called Filing, and Payment Runs has been changed to Pay Runs.
  • Payment Frequencies has also been shortened to Pay Frequencies.

New icons:

  • The top-right hand corner of the screen has 2 new icons: the Help icon and the Profile icon.
  • The Help icon has the following options:
    • Help for this page: see help pages specifically for the screen you are on (if available),
    • General Help: navigate to our help site, where you can browse various topics.
    • Support: Contact the Support team or grant them view-only access from this screen.

  • The Profile icon has the following options:
    • Companies: This allows you to add, delete and switch between companies.
    • Billing: This shows you all your billing information.
    • User Profile: You can change your password here, or switch between roles if you have more than one role.
    • Manage Users: This allows you to add, deactivate and manage the users in SimplePay for your company, including changing their permission settings or role.
    • Logout: Keep your information secure by logging out of SimplePay when you’re done.  

Improved payroll screen:

  • The payroll screen is divided into 3 columns, making it easier to do payroll.
  • Adding a regular item is now done by clicking on Add next to Regular Inputs.
  • Clicking on Add next to Payslip Inputs lets you add a once-off item to this payslip only.
  • To view a previous payslip, add a payslip or change payslip dates, click on the date dropdown field next to Payslip in the last column.

Mobile responsiveness:

  • The new user interface also has improved mobile responsiveness. This will be developed further in the upcoming weeks.
  • Mobile responsiveness means that SimplePay is more compatible with mobile phones and tablets, allowing you to process payslips on the move.
  • Employees can more easily use their phones to access their payslips and make leave requests, without needing to download any apps.

We hope that you are excited about the new user interface. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please also let us know what you think of our new look – all comments and feedback are welcome. We would also love to hear suggestions for new information or topics for our help site or blog.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Team SimplePay