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Heat is on for employers to reconcile..


Employers have until 29 August 2008 to complete their EMP501 returns that reconcile payments made on behalf of employees for PAYE (pay as you earn), UIF (unemployment insurance fund) and SDL (skills development) levies.

SARS has also made available a free software package called e@syFile which can be downloaded from the SARS website or collected on CD from any SARS office, to assist companies meet their commitments.

Grant Lloyd, managing director at payroll software specialist Softline Pastel Payroll, has evaluated the e@syFile software and says it is well presented, practical and simple.

SARS has warned that heavy penalties (10% of the PAYE declared) will be imposed on companies that fail to make the 29 August submissions deadline and has also urged companies not to wait until the last day to make returns by e-Filing. In addition, backdated interest will be calculated on outstanding PAYE, UIF and SDL amounts at 10,5% for incorrect or late payments.

“If employers do not meet the SARS deadline, their employees will also not be able to obtain their personal tax return form because the data required from the company to automatically populate some sections of the individual return will not have been received,” says Lloyd.

For companies with automated payroll and HR software systems life will become much easier as all they need to do is to access their year end IRP5 and IT3A data file and import the file into e@syFile. This also automatically transports the company and employee details, as well as the tax certificate details. Validation of the data against SARS records then takes place immediately and if there are no errors the data automatically populates the form via e@syFile within seconds.

If there are errors, Lloyd says the e@syFile program will detail them, allowing the company to check and make corrections. The corrected data will then populate the e@syFile form and be reconciled. The software then presents the company's declared liability, detailing any amount owing to SARS or any excess due back to the company.

Employers with automated payroll and HR software solutions can print out their employee tax certificates and hand them to staff for their personal file in the usual way. They can also be printed from e@syFile as PDF files.

Presently e@syFile software is available only in a single company version but will also soon be available in a multi-company version for professional tax practitioners. It is secure software and any e@syFile data submitted to SARS for validation is automatically encrypted so that only SARS can access and read the file once it has been transmitted.

“Companies that are still using manual payroll systems will find it difficult and time consuming to manually enter all their figures and details into e@syFile,” says Lloyd. “SARS is now strongly driving a conversion to fully electronic income tax submissions and this is likely to be achieved within the next three years. It will also make life much easier for honest taxpayers and much more difficult for dishonest taxpayers and tax evaders.”

Source : SAIPA

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