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Get set for 29 May deadline for PAYE reconciliation returns

karen Schmikl

South African employers have until 29 May to file their annual PAYE reconciliation returns for the 2015 tax year (1 March 2014 to 28 February 2015) if they are to avoid paying penalties to SARS. This means that you must reconcile and submit your PAYE, SDL and UIF contributions for the period by the deadline, even if you have just one employee on your payroll.

All of your EMP201 declarations must match the monthly payments made to SARS for PAYE, SDL and UIF. In addition, your EMP501 returns must reconcile to the copies of tax certificates sent to SARS.

Employers that submit late or incomplete submissions may face warnings and penalties from SARS.
It is also important to ensure that all of your employees have income tax reference numbers. Schmikl says that even though it is the employee’s responsibility to register for PAYE, you might face penalties if any staff members’ income tax reference numbers are not reflected on their tax certificates.

To prepare for filing season, I recommend that you download the latest version of the SARS e@syFile Employer software as soon as possible.

To download the latest version, visit If you use an automated payroll solution that does the PAYE, UIF and SDL calculations on your behalf, the reconciliation process will be much simpler for you.

Some systems offer a full set of reconciliation reports, making the reconciliation easy and timeous. And if your payroll solution integrates with e@syFile, the return will be a snap because you won’t need to do any manual recapturing.  Solutions such as Sage One Payroll, for example, can generate a tax certificate export file that employers can submit through e@syFile.

A good payroll solution will indicate if your returns are missing any demographic data, which could save you from having submissions rejected by SARS and possible administrative penalties. For example, all employees must have a valid address on the tax certificate. If your submission does not include the compulsory address fields on the tax certificate, the payroll system should prompt you to update the relevant information.

It’s a good idea to start early with this process rather than leaving it to the last minute. That way you’ll have time to adjust your returns if any of the numbers don’t reconcile. Even small employers can benefit from investing in a payroll system to streamline the returns process and guarantee an accurate SARS submission.

Author: Karen Schmikl is the Business Manager for Sage Online Payroll in South Africa. Karen has been in the payroll industry since 2001 and has combined her experience in payroll and legislation to develop an online payroll software product that is compliant with South African legislation, while at the same time easy to use.

Karen has been endorsed for her skills in the areas of business analysis, management, payroll, business process and payroll taxes.