Filing Season 2021 for employers, during which they must file the annual Employer Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501), opens on 1 April 2021 and closes on 31 May 2021. The EMP501 must reflect accurate payroll information about their employees, employees’ tax (PAYE) payments made and Tax Certificates (IRP5/IT3) (a)s generated, covering the full tax year from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on tax revenue collection. Given large predicted shortfalls in revenue for 2020/21 and over the next three years, the 2020 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) confirmed that tax increases totalling R40 billion would be required over the next four years to help stabilise public debt and return the public finances to a sustainable position. These increases were first announced in the June 2020 special adjustments budget.
Government is reducing the number of tax incentives, expenditure deductions and assessed loss offsets, with the aim of lowering the corporate income tax rate over the medium term. These changes are expected to enhance efficiency, transparency and fairness in the business tax system, while facilitating economic growth through improved investment and competitiveness.
Personal income tax accounts for about 40 per cent of total tax revenue. In response to extreme levels of inequality, South Africa’s rate structure is highly progressive and covers tax residents’ worldwide income. South Africa has the highest personal income tax share among upper middle-income countries, alongside one of the highest top personal income tax rates.
Tito Mboweni’s big day looms this month, with little progress on the medium-term budget policy speech. The biggest issue relates to the freeze on government wages to which there has been no resolution yet. Let’s hope that we get finality in the upcoming budget.
(Extract from the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement)
In terms of Disaster Management Act relief measures, three payment dates still apply:
With the intention of making it easier to comply with tax obligations, SARS is embarking on an outbound call campaign to assist taxpayers to file their tax returns virtually, either by a telephone or video call.
The deduction available for donations increased
Gazetting of Trade Exposure and Greenhouse Gas Benchmark Regulations and Renewable Energy Premium Notice in Terms of the Carbon Tax Act
The Minister of Finance published on Friday, 19 June 2020 the regulations for the trade exposure and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity benchmark performance allowance, and the notice for the renewable energy premium, in terms of the Carbon Tax Act
In line with the President’s address to the nation on 21 April 2020, the Minister of Finance has provided more detail on the second set of measures that aim to assist individuals and businesses through the pandemic. The interventions include:
The Minister of Finance has announced the following exceptional tax measures as part of the fiscal package outlined by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 23 March 2020 in his speech on the Escalation of Measures to Combat COVID-19. These measures are over and above the tax proposals made in the 2020 Budget on 26 February 2020. The tax adjustments are made in light of the National State of Disaster and due to the significant and potentially lasting negative impacts on the economy from the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. There is a critical need for government interventions to assist with job retention and assist businesses that may be experiencing significant distress. These measures include:
Deferral Of The Payment Of Provisional Tax Liability For Tax Compliant Small To Medium Sized Businesses
In order to assist with alleviating cash flow burdens arising as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Government proposes the following tax measures for tax compliant small to medium sized businesses, for a period of twelve months, beginning 1 April 2020 and ending on 31 March 2021:
In order to minimise the loss of jobs during this critical period, Government proposes expanding the ETI programme for a limited period of four months, beginning 1 April 2020 and ending on 31 July 2020 as follows:
Deferral Of The Payment Of Employees’ Tax Liability For Tax Compliant Small To Medium Sized Businesses
In order to assist with alleviating any cash flow burden arising as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Government proposes the following tax measures for tax compliant small to medium sized businesses, for a limited period of four months, beginning 1st April 2020 and ending on 31st July 2020:
In light of the Covid-19 outbreak SARS has announced a number of operational changes as detailed below.
In his 2020 Budget speech, Minister Mboweni announced the formation of a Biz Portal which would allow one to complete all the necessary registrations for the formation of a business. This facility is now available and is best described as follows:
Revenue for 2019/20 is now R63.3 billion lower than the estimate at the time of the 2019 Budget.
To promote economic growth, government intends to restructure the corporate income tax system over the medium term by broadening the base and reducing the rate. Broadening the base will involve minimising tax incentives, and introducing new interest deduction and assessed loss limitations. Rate reductions will be implemented in a revenue-neutral manner.
Increasingly, governments and businesses recognise that the world faces a climate crisis, and acknowledge the need for partnerships to limit global warming to below 1.5° C. As the Paris Agreement becomes operational in 2020, signatories will submit revised nationally determined contribution commitments to mitigate climate change. A range of legislation and policies are being developed to meet South Africa’s commitments in this regard.
“The Aloe Ferox survives and thrives when times are tough. It actually prefers less water. It wins even when it seems the odds are against it. "
A good start to the new year when the Reserve bank announced a surprise reduction of 25 basis points to the repo rate. Good news for those with borrowings and the forecast is that we should get another cut in the 4th quarter 2020.
South Africa will be holding its breathe at 14h00 Wednesday 26th February 2020 as Minister Mboweni presents his Budget for the 2021 financial year. There literally can only be bad news as the whole country is going to be affected by whatever reforms will be announced, but without these reforms South Africa will undoubtedly fail, so we need to make short to medium term sacrifices. There will be increased taxes, what shape or form is anyone’s guess. But this needs to be accompanied with a reduced Government wage bill and holes plugged in our leaking State-Owned Entities.