Resubmission of EMP501 and Tax Certificates which reflect Solidarity Fund donations, by 9 July 2021

As part of our continued effort to always keep you compliant and signal potential issues which may affect your business, we noted a recent issue which warrants this blog post.

The information in this post is aimed at employers who may have facilitated donations by employees to the Solidarity Fund, between 1 April and 30 September 2020, via their payroll

SARS Notice

Last week SARS released updated software to enable the filing season of individuals and trusts that commenced on 1 July 2021.

As part of the testing cycle during the release, it was discovered that [email protected] incorrectly processed EMP501 source code 4055 data, which relates to employee donations to the Solidarity Fund through their respective payroll systems.

SARS has apologised for the error and will be taking steps to have the issue resolved and the errors corrected.

Resubmission of EMP501 data

To address the issue, it will be required that affected employers resubmit their EMP501 data to SARS. Resubmitting the data is the only way that SARS will be able to recognise the donations by  employees for tax purposes during the upcoming filing season. It is essential that donations to the Solidarity Fund are reported on the tax certificate against code 4055.

SARS has urged all affected employers to resubmit by Friday 9 July 2021 to enable them to process the data successfully.

If you have any queries about this or are unsure if you are affected, please call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277. 

Should you have any questions regarding SimplePay or any of our services, please feel free to contact [email protected] for assistance.

Team SimplePay

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).

UPDATE 18/05/2020: PAYE “Not Assessed” Validation Error

On submission of their IRP5 / IT3(a)s, some clients have received a validation error from SARS, flagging up some or all of their employees as “not assessed”.

Without going into the details, this does not relate to whether your employees’ tax certificates will be pre-populated or not. Any certificate that can be matched to an employee will be pre-populated and will allow your employee to complete their ITR-12.

If you receive a “not assessed”, you should check that the information to which the error corresponds is correct. If it is, then you can proceed to give the certificates to your employees to allow them to file their ITR12 returns.
If you discover an error, you need to correct it and resubmit. The problem with this scenario is that your employee may have already been assessed from your initial submission. This will also result in the error code “not assessed”, as duplicate submissions trigger this validation error. If this error recurs after you resubmit, you will need to direct your affected employees to do a Request For Correction (RFC) on their ITR12s. More information on RFCs can be found on this SARS webpage.

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

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

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

Issues and Other Matters Arising From New eFiling

Please take note of the following issues and other matters regarding SARS eFiling:

(1) Consolidated Profiles

SARS is consolidating profiles where payroll administrators or individuals have more than one profile on eFiling.

For payroll administrators, SARS is now authenticating all existing users and migrating them to one single profile.

Individuals with multiple profiles will be required to choose a primary login from a list after logging into eFiling with any one of the profiles. Once the primary login is chosen, the indivdual must link the other logins as “Portfolios” to his/her profile.

See the following resources for more information:

Manage your user profile (paragraph 7.2 onwards)

Guide to the Auto Merge Function

(2) SARS eFiling Portfolios

The role in which you act is referred to as the SARS eFiling Portfolio. Only Tax Practitioner and Organisation portfolios can have multiple tax entities loaded on SARS eFiling, while Individuals cannot. Therefore, if you are a SimplePay client that does payroll for multiple firms, you should use the Organisation portfolio.

The 3 types of Portfolios referred to above can be defined as:

  • Individual: A person acting on his/her own behalf for his/her own taxes
  • Tax Practitioner: A Tax Practitioner that is registered with a recognised controlling body, acting on behalf of another tax paying entity and authorised by a signed Power of Attorney.
  • Organisation: A person acting as a representative of a tax paying entity, either as a representative taxpayer or as an appointed representative with a signed Power of Attorney.

(3) Tax Certificates not Pre-populating for Individuals

An error occurs on SARS eFiling under certain circumstances when an individual completes his or her ITR12 (Income Tax return):

  • When completing an ITR12, the tax certificate information is pre-populated in the annual return. However, when the individual saves the return and then requests a calculation, the “Creation wizard” defaults the “Unemployment” questions as YES, and the tax certificate that was linked is unlinked and is no longer available.

SARS is working on this issue. The workaround to re-link the tax certificate is:

  • The user must set all questions relating to unemployment as NO in the “Creation wizard”
  • SAVE the return, and then
  • REFRESH the DATA.

However, this will have the effect that the user must complete all the relevant information.

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

Tax Certificates Now Available via Employee Self-Service

At SimplePay we strive to create value for you by meeting your payroll needs in a simple and easy manner. With that in mind, we are thrilled to announce the launch of a new feature to make the tax year-end even easier for you – employees can now view their tax certificates via the self-service function.

This means that you can release IRP5s/IT3(a)s to your employees at the end of the tax year at the click of a button. Employees will be informed via email that their tax certificates are available on their employee self-service. You can also attach a PDF of their tax certificate in this email. Please note: you can only release final year-end IRP5s/IT3(a)s to employees i.e. interim IRP5s/IT3(a)s for the first 6 months of the tax year cannot be released to employees.

Please see the following help page for more information on the steps to enable and use this function.

Team SimplePay