Important changes to payroll Covid-19 measures – 01 April 2020 to 31 July 2020

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On 21 April 2020, further tax relief measures were announced by the President and SARS has since clarified a few finer points which have an impact on your payroll (which includes some back-dating of regulations).

We are here to assist you to navigate this challenging period in your business.

Here is what you need to know in a nutshell:

1.   Skills development levy holiday:

From 01 May 2020, there will be a four-month holiday for Skills Development Levy (SDL) contributions (1 per cent of total salaries) to assist all businesses with cash flow. The EMP201 SARS return will have the SDL field blocked from use for these 4 months (1 May 2020 – 31 August 2020).

2.   Employment Tax Incentives (ETI’s):

–     Prior Covid-19 changes issued by SARS:

* ETI credits applied to all employees employed between 1/10/2013 and 29/02/2020 who earn below R6 500 per month
* 18-65 years old – must be employed by 1.3.2020 (i.e. no new employees)
* Monthly rates = 1st year R1500, 2nd year R1000, outside contract/age limit = R500

  • Changes which have been back-dated to 1 April 2020:

* The previous amounts of R1500 1st year, R1000 2nd year and R500 for outside age range have increased by R250 each -> now R1750 1st year, R1250 2nd year and R750 for outside age range. 

* The previous requirement where it only applied to employees employed after 01/10/2013 has now been removed.

These changes have been back-dated to 1 April 2020 and would impact your EMP201 declarations for April and May 2020. Automated payroll systems have been updated to bring these changes into effect.

NB – This is only for the period 1/4/2020 – 31/7/2020, thereafter it’s “back to normal” and ETI rules prior to lockdown come back into force.

As a firm, our priority in respect of all our Clients, Employees and Associates, is that you all stay safe and healthy during these difficult times.

Our outsourced payroll services ensure that we work with you to maximise your tax and payroll efficiencies and ensure that all your compliance requirements have been met – especially during this difficult period!

Our payroll services would also allow you to be better prepared for the increased scrutiny from SARS with payroll queries and audits.

We can assist with all your UIF, Workmen’s Compensation and SARS payroll nightmares to save you both time and money!


Please contact me to help you with this relief application as we are here to assist you to navigate this challenging period in your business.

Juanita Roman

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