Sage Pastel Payroll and HR • COVID-19 Tax Relief

Sage Pastel Payroll and HR • COVID-19 Tax Relief

South Africa Employment tax incentive (ETI) relief measures

COVID-19 Tax Relief

NOTE: This information comes from the Pastel Payroll blog website.

The following 4 PDf documents explain the steps to use when processing your TERS run in Sage Pastel Payroll and HR application.
Ensure that you are on 2020 Update 1a and that your employees are currently Processed.

  1. OPEN TERS csv Overview HERE
  2. OPEN TERS csv Pay to Council HERE
  3. OPEN TERS csv Pay to Employer HERE
  4. OPEN TERS csv Pay to Employee HERE

DISCLAIMER
Although care has been taken with the preparation of this document, Sage South Africa makes no warranties or representations as to the suitability or quality of the documentation or its fitness for any purpose and the client uses this information entirely at own risk.

A qualifying employer is a private-sector employer who is registered for employees’ tax (PAYE) and who;

  • is not in the national, provincial or local sphere of government,
  • is not a public entity listed in Schedule 2 or 3 of the Public Finance Management Act (other than
    those public entities designated by the Minister of Finance by notice in the gazette),
  • is not a municipal entity, and is not disqualified by the Minister of Finance due to displacement of an employee or by not meeting such conditions as may be prescribed by the Minister by Regulation.

A qualifying employee is an employee who;

  • has a valid South African ID, a valid asylum seeker permit or valid refugee ID,
  • is 18 to 29 years old on the last day of the calendar month or is any age and renders services
    mainly (more than 50%) within a special economic zone (SEZ) to an employer that carries on
    trade within a SEZ who is a qualifying company as contemplated in the Income Tax Act under
    the SEZ regime, or if the employee is employed by an employer that operates in an industry
    designated by the Minister of Finance,
  • was employed by the employer or associated institution on or after 1 October 2013,
  • is not a connected person in relation to the employer,
  • is not a domestic worker,
  • earns at least the minimum wage (the higher of the minimum wage as specified by a wage regulating measure or the National Minimum Wage Act, or if none of these are applicable - R2000 wage for a full month which is 160 ordinary employed and remunerated hours), and
  • earns monthly remuneration of less than R6 500 (i.e. remuneration for a full month, which is 160 employed and remunerated hours must be less than R6 500. If the employee was not employed
    and remunerated for a full month, the actual remuneration must be grossed-up to 160 hours.
    Please note that this is remuneration as defined in paragraph 1 of the Fourth Schedule to the
    Income Tax Act).

The incentive is available for a maximum of 24 months (need not be consecutive) per qualifying
employee (previous employment and employment with an associated person must be taken into
account), broken up into the ‘first 12 months’ period and the ‘next 12 months period’ as per the table
below. If the employee was not employed and remunerated for a full month (i.e. 160 employed and
remunerated hours) the ETI amount must be pro-rated according to the actual employed and
remunerated hours in relation to 160 hours.

Monthly remuneration First 12 months Next 12 months
R0 – R1 999.99 50% of monthly remuneration 25% of monthly remuneration
R2 000 – R4 499.99 R1 000 R500
R4 500 – R6 499.99 Formula: R1 000 - (50% x (monthly
remuneration – R4 500))
Formula: R500 - (25% x (monthly remuneration – R4 500))

 

Proposed relief measures

These measures are deemed to come into operation on 1 April 2020 for a 4-month period until 31 July
2020. These measures will only apply to employers who are registered for employees’ tax with SARS on
or before 1 March 2020. Changes are indicated in blue.

A qualifying employee will be an employee who;

  • has a valid South African ID, a valid asylum seeker permit or valid refugee ID,
  • is 18 to 29 years old on the last day of the calendar month, or is 30 to 65 years old on the last day
    of the calendar month (April 2020 – July 2020), or is any age and renders services mainly (more
    than 50%) within a special economic zone (SEZ) to an employer that carries on trade within a
    SEZ who is a qualifying company as contemplated in the Income Tax Act under the SEZ regime,
    or if the employee is employed by an employer that operated in an industry designated by the
    Minister of Finance,
  • was employed by the employer or associated institution on or after 1 October 2013,
  • is not a connected person in relation to the employer,
  • is not a domestic worker,
  • earns at least the minimum wage (the higher of the minimum wage as specified by a wage
    regulating measure or the National Minimum Wage Act, or if none of these are applicable - R2
    000 wage for a full month which is 160 ordinary employed and remunerated hours), and
  • earns monthly remuneration of less than R6 500 (i.e. remuneration for a full month, which is 160
    employed and remunerated hours must be less than R6 500. If the employee was not employed
    and remunerated for a full month, the actual remuneration must be grossed-up to 160 hours.
    Please note that this is remuneration as defined in paragraph 1 of the Fourth Schedule to the
    Income Tax Act)

The ETI amounts will increase/change to the following:

Monthly remuneration First 12 months Next 12 months Months exceeding 24
months/30–65 years of age
Apply to: Qualifying employees aged
18 to 29 years old or who
qualify according to the SEZ
criteria.
Qualifying employees aged
18 to 29 years old or who
qualify according to the SEZ
criteria.
Qualifying employees aged
18 to 29 years old or who
qualify according to the SEZ
criteria who have already
qualified for 24 months, or
qualifying employees aged
30 to 65 years old.
This column is only valid
from 1 April 2020 – 31 July
2020
R0 – R1 999.99 R500 + (50% of monthly
remuneration)
R500 + (25% of monthly
remuneration)
R500
R2 000 – R4 499.99 R1 500 R1 000 R500
R4 500 – R6 499.99 Formula: R1 500 - (75% x
(monthly remuneration –
R4 500))
Formula: R1 000 - (50% x
(monthly remuneration –
R4 500))
Formula: R500 - (25% x
(monthly remuneration –
R4 500)

 

It is our interpretation that the amount in the 3rd column (i.e. months exceeding 24
months/30-65 years of age) should not be pro-rated if the employee was not employed and
remunerated for a full month (160 employed and remunerated hours).

The actual remuneration must still be grossed-up to a full month if the employee was not employed and remunerated for a full month to calculate the ETI amount, but the ETI amount must not be pro-rated. We have requested confirmation of our interpretation.

  • All other ETI rules/conditions/calculations remain the same
  • Employers who are not registered for employees’ tax with SARS on or before 1 March 2020 may
    claim ETI, but not the additional ETI as indicated in the table above.

ETI refunds:

SARS will accelerate the payment of employment tax incentive reimbursements from twice a year to
monthly as a means of getting cash into the hands of tax compliant employers.
Please note that ‘reimbursements’ are the ‘ETI Carry Forward’ value on the EMP201.
This proposed amendment is effective from 1 March 2020 and applies in respect of any remuneration
paid on or before 31 July 2020.

***Please note that no changes will be made to the payroll system to accommodate this. This will be an administrative requirement by SARS after the employer has submitted and paid the EMP201 before the deadline.

Examples to illustrate the additional ETI relief

Example 1:

Employer XYZ employs 3 qualifying employees.

  • Employee A (aged 22): Has qualified for ETI 4 times before April 2020, the month of April is his 5th
    qualifying month. All qualifying criteria are met. The employee’s monthly remuneration is R3
    500.00. Employed and remunerated for a full month.
  • Employee B (aged 28): Has qualified for ETI 24 times before April 2020. All qualifying criteria are
    met. The employee’s monthly remuneration is R3 000.00. Employed and remunerated for a full
    month.
  • Employee C (aged 40): Has not qualified for ETI before. All qualifying criteria are met. The
    employee’s monthly remuneration is R6 000.00. Employed and remunerated for a full month.

 

Before Change
(before April 2020)
After Change
(from 1 April 2020 until 31 July 2020)
Employee A R1 000 R1 500
Employee B R0 R500
Employee C R0 R125 (R500 – (25% x
(R6 000 – R4 500))
Total ETI: R1 000 R2 125

 

Example 2:

Employer XYZ employs 3 qualifying employees.

  • Employee A (aged 22): Has qualified for ETI 14 times before April 2020, the month of April is his
    15th qualifying month. All qualifying criteria are met. The employee’s monthly remuneration is
    R3 500.00 (grossed-up remuneration). Employed and remunerated for 100 hours.
  • Employee B (aged 28): Has qualified for ETI 24 times before April 2020. All qualifying criteria are
    met. The employee’s monthly remuneration is R3 500.00 (grossed-up remuneration). Employed
    and remunerated for 100 hours.
  • Employee C (aged 32): Has qualified for ETI 5 times before. All qualifying criteria are met. The
    employee’s monthly remuneration is R6 000.00 (grossed-up remuneration). Employed and
    remunerated for 100 hours.

 

Before Change
(before April 2020)
After Change
(from 1 April 2020 until 31 July 2020)
Employee A R500 R625 (pro-rata: R1 000 / 160 x 100)
Employee B R0 R 500 (no pro-rata)
Employee C R0 R125 (R500 – (25% x (R6 000 – R4 500))
(no pro-rata)
Total ETI: R500 R1 250

 

***Sage will be implementing the required proposed changes in the payroll system as soon as possible – further information will follow.

 

Pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) relief measures

Deferral of payment of PAYE for qualifying employers:

A ‘qualifying employer’ that is a tax resident (or a representative) that is registered for employees’ tax by 1 March 2020, for a limited period of 4 months from 1 April 2020 – 31 July 2020 will be allowed:

To pay only 80% of the employees’ tax withheld/deducted (PAYE liability) without SARS imposing
penalties and interest for the late payment thereof. Therefore, the PAYE payable for April (which
must be paid before 7 May) can be reduced by 20% and only 80% will be payable. The same will
apply for the following three months of May, June, and July.

The remaining 20% must be paid to SARS in 6 equal monthly installments commencing on 7 September
2020 and ending on 5 February 2021. If these payments are not made before the deadline, SARS will
impose penalties and interest.

The employer must still declare the full PAYE liability as calculated by the system during this four-month
period, the only change is i.r.o the payment to be made to SARS. SARS will impose penalties if they
discover that the employer has understated the PAYE liability for any of the 4 months or if the employer
does not qualify due to not being tax compliant.

Currently, it is unclear how these deferral payments must be made/processed on the EMP201 (i.e.
whether new fields will be made available etc.) and further clarity must be provided in this regard.
‘Qualifying employer’ is a company, trust, partnership or individual;

  • that is a taxpayer as defined in section 151 of the Tax Administration Act that conducts trade
  • that has a gross income of R50 million or less during the year of assessment ending on or after 1
    April 2020 but before 1 April 2021.
  • whose gross income for the year of assessment does not include more than 10% income derived
    from interest, dividends, foreign dividends, rental from letting fixed property and any
    remuneration received from an employer, and
  • that is tax compliant as referred to in section 256(3) of the Tax Administration Act when relying on
    a deferral under this Act.

Example:

Employer A is a qualifying employer.

 

Payroll Month Gross PAYE liability
as calculated by the
system and declared
on EMP201
Less 20% deferral Equals 80% payable
to SARS
Deadline Date
April 2020 R150 000 R30 000 R120 000 7 May 2020
May 2020 R145 000 R29 000 R116 000 5 June 2020
June 2020 R155 000 R31 000 R124 000 7 July 2020
July 2020 R150 000 R30 000 R120 000 7 August 2020
Cash flow benefit R120 000

 

Payment of deferred PAYE liability (please note that this table excludes the PAYE liability of the payroll
month and is only to illustrate the payment of the deferred PAYE – which must be paid together with
the month’s PAYE liability):

 

Payroll Month Amount payable Deadline date
August 2020 R20 000 7 September 2020
Sept 2020 R20 000 5 October 2020
Oct 2020 R20 000 6 November 2020
Nov 2020 R20 000 7 December 2020
Dec 2020 R20 000 7 January 2021
Jan 2021 R20 000 5 February 2021
Total deferred PAYE R120 000

 

***Please note that no changes will be made to the payroll system to accommodate this. This will be an administrative requirement by the employer when making EMP201 payments to SARS.

Covid-19 disaster relief trust payment excluded from remuneration:

Receipts from ‘Covid-19 disaster relief trust’ is excluded from remuneration and therefore exempt from
PAYE, UIF, SDL, etc.
This proposed amendment is effective 1 March 2020 and applies in respect of Covid-19 disaster relief
trust payments made until 31 July 2020.

Currently, it is unclear which IRP5 code should be used to report this and further clarity must be
provided by SARS. Until we get clarification, you can use IRP5 code 3602 (excluded from PAYE, UIF, SDL
, etc.)

*Covid-19 disaster relief trust’ means any trust established for the sole purpose of disaster relief in respect of the Covid-19 pandemic, declared a national disaster on 15 March 2020 by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Employee donations to Covid-19 disaster relief trusts

According to paragraph 4 of the Fourth Schedule to the Income Tax Act, a bona fide donation made by
the employer on behalf of the employee for which the employer will be issued a receipt as
contemplated in section 18A(2)(a) will be allowed as a tax deduction, limited to 5% of the balance of
remuneration before taking into account the tax deduction of donations.
The draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill provides for cash donations made to Covid-19 disaster
relief trusts (for example the Solidarity Fund). These donations will fall within the ambit of section 18A.
This will only be applicable for Covid-19 disaster relief fund donations made from 1 April 2020 until 31
July 2020.

The tax-deductible portion of the donation must be reported against IRP5 code 4030.
If the employee contributes towards a Covid-19 disaster relief trust in his/her own private capacity, the
employee may claim a donation deduction on assessment.

***’Covid-19 disaster relief trust’ means any trust established for the sole purpose of disaster relief in respect of the Covid-19 pandemic, declared a national disaster on 15 March 2020.

SDL and UIF contributions relief measures

There is still no further information regarding the tax relief measures mentioned by the President i.r.o UIF and SDL contributions.

OID Benefits

According to the COIDA (Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act), an employer can
claim compensation for an employee if an employee has contracted a disease and that disease has
risen out of and in the course of his/her employment.

Employers can now also claim if the employee contracted the Covid-19 disease arising out of and
during his/her employment according to Government Gazette 43126.

All employers must follow the stipulated prescripts when submitting claims and supporting medical
reports for Covid-19.

Employers can claim online using the CompEasy online system or the Mutual Association Claims
System.

Please refer to the Department of Employment and Labour website for more information.

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Benefits

The Minister of Employment and Labour has announced and published relief measures that will
compensate affected workers through existing UIF benefits and the Temporary Employee/Employer
Relief Scheme (TERS).

Existing UIF Benefits

The Unemployment Insurance Fund will compensate the employee due to the Covid-19 pandemic
through its existing ‘illness benefit’, ‘reduced work time benefit’, ‘unemployment benefit’, and ‘death
benefit’. Certain documentation/forms must be submitted by both the employer and employee.
Application forms can be downloaded from the Department of Employment and Labour website:
www.labour.gov.za For any further assistance claiming existing UIF benefits, please contact the
Department of Employment and Labour.

You can also refer to the ‘Easy Guide for Electronic Claims’ on the Department of Employment and
Labour website for more information.

*Please note that the information below is i.r.o. existing UIF benefits for Covid-19, the existing UIF benefits in all other scenarios/cases will remain the same as per the UI Act.

Illness benefit

Where a contributing employee is in quarantine for 14 days due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the
employee shall qualify for an illness leave benefit

  • Confirmation from both the employer and employee must be submitted together with the
    application as a proof that the employee was in an agreed pre-cautionary self-quarantine for 14
    days.
  • In this instance, the confirmation letters from the employer and employee shall suffice.
  • Should an employee be in quarantine for more than 14 days, a medical certificate from a medical
    practitioner must be submitted together with a continuation form for payment.
  • This benefit is calculated in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act (i.e. for every 4 days
    worked, the employee accumulates one day credit and the maximum credit days payable of 365
    days for every 4 years).
  • Other required forms and documents: UI19, UI2.7, UI2.2, UI2.8 and a copy of an identification
    document (for example an RSA ID).
  • The Illness benefit i.r.o Covid-19 is effective 26 March 2020 and will remain in operation for a
    period of 3 months or until it is withdrawn by the Minister, whichever comes first.
  • The employer must use code ‘10’ (Illness/medical boarded) as the ‘UIF employment status code/
    reason for termination code’ in the UIF submit file (if the employee is still on illness leave at the
    end of the month) and on the UI19.

*** ‘Quarantine’ means separating asymptomatic individuals potentially exposed to disease from nonexposed individuals in such a manner so as to prevent the possible spread of infection or contamination.

Reduced work time benefit

Where a company implements reduced work time or a short time due to Covid-19.

  • A contributor who loses part of his/her income due to reduced working time, despite being still
    employed is entitled to benefits if the contributor’s total income falls below the benefit level that
    the contributor would have received if he/she had become wholly unemployed, subject to that
    contributor having enough credits.
  • This benefit is the difference between what the employer pays and normal UIF benefits payable
    in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act (i.e. for every 4 days worked, the employee
    accumulates one day credit and the maximum credit days payable of 365 days for every 4 years).
  • Required forms and documents: UI19, UI2.7, UI2.1, UI2.8 a letter from the employer confirming the
    reduced work time is due to Covid-19 and a copy of an identification document (for example an
    RSA ID).
  • The employer must use code ‘17’ (Reduced work time) as the ‘UIF employment status code/
    reason for termination code’ in the UIF submit the file (if the employee is still on reduced work time
    at the end of the month) and on the UI19.

Unemployment benefits

A contributor who loses his/her employment due to retrenchment due to the Covid-19 pandemic
will be able to claim unemployment benefits.

  • This benefit is calculated in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act (i.e. for every 4 days
    worked, the employee accumulates one day credit and the maximum credit days payable of 365
    days for every 4 years).
  • Required forms and documents: UI19, UI2.8, copy of an identification document (for example an
    RSA ID), and proof of registration as a work-seeker.
  • The employer must use the relevant termination code (for example ‘08’ which refers to
    Insolvency/Liquidation etc.) as the ‘UIF employment status code/reason for termination code’ in
    the UIF submit file and on the UI19.

Death benefit /dependant’s benefit

In the undesirable event where a contributor passes on due to Covid-19, the dependants will
qualify for a benefit.

  • Benefits are paid to the beneficiaries of the deceased.
  • People eligible to apply (in this order) are a spouse, life partner, children, and nominated persons.
  • Required forms and documents: UI19, UI53, UI2.5, UI2.6, death certificate, identification
    document of deceased applicant, UI2.8, and copy of the dependant’s identification document.
  • The employer must use code 02 (Death) as the ‘UIF employment status code/reason for
    termination code’ in the UIF submit file and on the UI-19.

Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS)

The Minister of Employment and Labour has issued a Directive (as amended by Government Gazette
No. 43216) called Covid19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (C19 TERS) effective 26 March
2020. This Directive will remain in operation for a period of 3 months or until it is withdrawn by the
Minister, whichever comes first.

During this COVID-19 lockdown period, most companies have shut down/closed (whether total or
partial) and for some employers, it is not economically possible to continue to pay employees. In this
case, the Department of Employment and Labour has created a special benefit under the
Unemployment Insurance Fund as per the Directive.

Purpose of the Directive:

  • To make provision for the payment of benefits to contributors who have lost income due to the
    Covid-19 pandemic.
  • To minimise the economic impact of the loss of employment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • To avoid contact with, and the spread of Covid-19.
  • To establish the Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme and set out the application
    process for benefits.
  • To make provisions of online applications for benefits in order to avoid contact during the
    national disaster period.

Qualifying employers:

Should an employer as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic close its operation or part of its
operations, for 3 months or lessor period, affected employees (temporary laid-off employees)
shall qualify for the TERS benefit.

  • For the company to qualify for TERS, it must satisfy the following requirements:
    • the company must be registered with UIF,
    • the company must comply with the application procedure for the financial relief scheme, and
    • the company’s closure must be directly linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • ***‘Temporary lay-off’ means a reduction in work following the temporary closure of business operations, whether total or partial, due to the Covid-19 pandemic for the period of the National Disaster.

TERS benefits:

  • The benefit shall be de-linked from the UIF’s normal benefits and therefore the normal rule (for
    every 4 days worked, the employee accumulates one day credit and the maximum credit days
    payable of 365 days for every 4 years) will not apply.
  • The benefits will only pay for the cost of salary for the employees during the temporary closure of
    the business operations.
  • The salary to be taken into account in calculating the benefits will be capped at a maximum
    amount of R17 712 per month, per employee and an employee will be paid in terms of the income
    replacement rate sliding scale (38% - 60%) as provided in the UI Act.
  • Should an employee’s income determine in terms of the income replacement sliding scale fall
    below R3500, the employee will be paid a replacement income equal to that amount.
  • Qualifying employees will receive a benefit calculated in terms of section 12 and 13 (1) and (2) of
    the UI Act provided that an employee shall receive a benefit of no less than R3500.
  • Subject to the amount of the benefit calculated according to the rules above, an employee may
    only receive Covid-19 benefits in terms of the Directive if the total of the benefit together with
    any additional payment by the employer in any period is not more than the remuneration that
    the employee would ordinarily have received for working during that period.
  • All amounts paid by or for the UIF to employers or bargaining council(s) under the terms of the
    The scheme shall be utilized solely for the purposes of the Scheme and for no other purpose. No
    amount paid by or for the UIF to an employer or bargaining council under the terms of the
    Scheme that is required to be paid, in turn, to an employee will fall into the general assets of the
    employer or bargaining council and no bank may refuse to release or administer the transfer of
    that amount into the bank account of the employee as required by the Scheme, irrespective
    whether the employer or bargaining council is in breach of its overdraft or similar contractual
    arrangements with the bank concerned.
  • The TERS benefit is excluded from remuneration, therefore, exempt from PAYE, UIF, SDL, etc. If
    the TERS benefit is paid to the employer, it must be processed through the payroll. Currently, it is
    unclear which IRP5 code should be used to report this and further clarity must be provided by
    SARS. Until we get clarification, use IRP5 code 3602.

Agreements with bargaining councils (i.r.o TERS):

  • An employer whose employees are entitled to receive Covid-19 benefits provided by the UIF
    during the period of lockdown from the bargaining council may not make an application in terms
    of the Scheme and the employees of that employer may not receive any payment in terms of the
    Scheme than through the bargaining council.
    The above restriction only applies if –

    • the parties to the bargaining council have concluded a collective agreement that-
      • has been extended by the Minister of Employment and Labour in terms of section 32 of the Labour Relations Act, and
      • provides for the disbursement of funds received from the UIF to provide Covid-19 benefits
        to employees bound by the collective agreement during the period of lock-down, and
    • the bargaining council has concluded a memorandum of agreement with the Fund for the
      council to disburse COVID-19 benefits on behalf of the Fund to –

      • the employees who fall within the scope of the collective agreement, and
      • if authorised by the memorandum of agreement, any other employees in a sector identified in the agreement, whether or not they fall within the registered scope of the bargaining council.

Application procedure:

  • The employers shall apply by reporting their closure to email box [email protected] and
    there shall be an automatic response outlining the application process.
  • Employers must apply online at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/
  • The employer shall be required to furnish the Fund with the following documents (all documents
    submitted will be subject to verification):

    • Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
    • CSV file in the prescribed format that will require critical information from the employer. When the employer submits online, the employer has the option to upload the CSV file or manually load employees by completing the required fields.
    • Confirmation of bank account details in the form of the latest bank statement.
    • Letter of the undertaking.
    • Any other information as may be required by the Dept of Employment and Labour.

***Please visit Sage City to keep up to date with any new information and changes i.r.o of the TERS CSV file which must be submitted.

For more information regarding TERS, please refer to the Department of Employment and Labour
website.

UIF has also developed a hotline for COVID-19 TERS Benefit inquiries during the lockdown period: 012 337 1997.

Workers, companies, and stakeholders are urged to follow @DeptofLabour and @UIFbenefits on Twitter
and visit www.labour.gov.za for regular updates.

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