TUNISIA 2017 BUDGET SPEECH

Tunisia’s Budget for 2017 was presented by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed in December 2016. The new Finance Law 2017 (Law n° 2016-78) was approved and includes several key measures.

Highlights of the Budget

  • The forecast growth of the budget is at 2.5% and the budget deficit narrowing slightly to 5.4%.
  • Income tax rates have been revised for the first time since 1989 to ease tax burdens on the lower income group.
  • 5 percent increase in company taxes has been enacted.
  • Public sector hiring outside of the security forces has been frozen.
  • The new tax law will allow the tax administration to better trace and collect information about taxpayers to ensure compliance with the law.
  • Tunisia aims at increasing transparency in the country’s banking system. The Central Bank of Tunisia, banks, financial institutions, investment companies, stock brokers, and the National Post Office must inform the tax administration of new accounts opened by taxpayers and copies of bank statements within twenty days of a request to do so.

Important Payroll changes:

  • The new tax rates, effective 01 January 2017 are as follows:

  • Professional Fees: The 2017 Finance Law has capped the 10% deduction for professional fees at 2,000 DT per year.

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

© 2017 CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Employment Tax Incentive (ETI)

The section regarding the R20 million cap on ETI claims has been scrapped and is not part of the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill which was signed into Law on 11 January 2017.

After a recommendation by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan the cap on ETI was removed.

Going forward SARS and Treasury will monitor the affordability of the programme. Should cost-containment of the ETI program be required, the imposition of a cap will be reviewed.

All other changes as stipulated in the previous news flash of 13 January 2017 remain the same.

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

© 2017 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

President Jacob Zuma has signed into law, the following Bills:

Taxation Laws Amendment Act

The Taxation Laws Amendment Act make the following changes effective:

Employment Tax Incentive (ETI)

  • The expiry date for ETI has been extended until 28 February 2019. (Effective date 01 October 2016)
  • The definition of monthly remuneration was amended to read “where an employer employs and remunerates a qualifying employee for at least 160 hours in a month..”.

This means unpaid hours (e.g. unpaid leave) will no longer be counted towards the 160 hours to determine a full month. (Effective date 01 October 2016)

  • A single employer will not be allowed to claim more than R20 million ETI per tax year. (Effective date 01 March 2017)
  • Limit on back-dated claims. Monthly claims can only be made up to the date of each 6-monthly reconciliation. After that no further claims for that specific reconciliation period will be allowed. (Effective date 01 March 2017)

Learnership allowances (incentive)

  • The period for the allowance has been extended to 31 March 2022. (Effective 01 October 2016 and applies to Learnership agreements entered on or after that date)
  • The tax deduction value will be based on the NQF level of the learner.
  • For learners with a qualification equal to NQF level 1 – 6, the employer qualifies for an annual deduction of R40 000.
  • For learners with a qualification equal to NQF level 7 – 10, the employer qualifies for an annual deduction of R20 000.
  • For learners with a disability, and a qualification equal to NQF level 1 – 6, the employer qualifies for an additional annual deduction of R20 000.

For learners with a disability, and a qualification equal to NQF level 7 – 10, the employer qualifies for an additional annual deduction of R30 000.

Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act, 2016

  • Extension of unemployment insurance benefits to learners who are undergoing Learnership training.
  • UIF benefits increased from 238 days to 365 days.
  • Maternity leave benefits increased to 66%.
  • Payment of maternity benefits may not affect the payment of unemployment benefits.
  • Employees who lost working hours due to reduced time at their work places, will be entitled to benefits.
  • Families and/or nominated beneficiaries of a deceased claimant will be allowed to receive the deceased’s benefits.

Charging of fees by any party (e.g. agency) to a UIF claimant for helping them submit their claims, are prohibited.

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

© 2017 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Employment Tax Incentive (ETI)

ETI was legislated to continue until 31 December 2016.

As the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill has not yet been promulgated, the ETI will not continue until further notice.

A summary of the proposed changes published by National Treasury:

ETI

  • A single employer will not be allowed to claim more than R20 million ETI per tax year.
  • Unpaid hours (e.g. unpaid leave) will no longer be counted towards the 160 hours to determine a full month.
  • Any unclaimed ETI amount as at the end of February 2016 and the end of August 2016 may not be rolled over into the next 6-month period.
  • The expiry date for ETI has been extended until 28 February 2019.

Learnership allowances (incentive)

  • The tax deduction value will be based on the NQF level of the learner.
  • The tax deduction value will be higher for qualifications up to NQF level 6 and lower for qualifications from NQF level 7 and higher.
  • The expiry date for the incentive has been extended until 31 March 2022.

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

 © 2017 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

ZIMBABWE 2017 BUDGET SPEECH

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, the honourable Patrick Chinamasa, presented the 2017 National Budget in December 2016.

Highlights of the budget speech summarized:

  • GDP growth is projected at 1.7%, from 0.6% estimated in 2016.
  • Budget deficit is projected at 2.7% of GDP in 2017.

Proposed changes:

  • Introduction of tax incentives for companies operating in Special Economic Zones.
  • Exemption of 15% withholding non-resident tax on fees, in respect of fees already subjected to 20% withholding taxes as non-executive director’s fees.

The following remains the same:

  • The tax-free band remains at US$3 600 per annum or US$300 per month.
  • The upper-income tax bands remain at US$240 000 per annum or US$20 000 per month.
  • The maximum tax-free bonus remains at US$1 000.
  • The tax-free exchange in respect of a severance package will be the higher of US$10 000 or 1/3 of the severance package, up to a maximum of 1/3 of an amount of US$60 000.
  • Pension income paid from a Pension Fund or Consolidated Revenue Fund to elderly taxpayers who are 55 years old or more, is exempt from tax.
  • Fringe Benefits are taxed in the hands of the employee based on the cost to the employer.

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

© 2017 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Come financial year-end many businesses are eager to finish up for the period and tie up loose ends… however, it is essential that the payroll administration function is comprehensively dealt with warns HR and HCM services and solution specialist CRS Technologies.
HR experts at the company say that despite its critical importance, companies often overlook the payroll department and its role in helping to efficiently round off the year.
Businesses often fail to understand the consequences of late filing, and procrastinate with the filing process leaving them pressurised at the deadline and effectively ‘working harder not smarter’.
It is important to remember that the payroll department is required to ensure that all payments have been made to employees and third parties to close the payroll off says HR & Payroll Compliance Consultant Sean van Wyk.
“No other supplementary payments should be made once closed off as this will directly affect the balancing of the year end in terms of the Payroll System and SARS. Checking SARS errors will be the next step,” says van Wyk.
With the fundamental role that payroll administration plays in business, it is crucial that decision makers consider all factors and aspects that influence this process.
The first is timing. According to van Wyk it is essential that deadlines are adhered to, particularly in terms of year-end submissions. “Employers face harsh penalties for late submissions,” he explains.
The second is communication. CRS Technologies advises that all departments should communicate during this crucial period to ensure that all deadlines are met.
“Harsh penalties await the companies that do not meet the deadlines prescribed. The sooner you plan for year-end, the easier it will be,” Van Wyk advises.
CRS Technologies is a specialist experienced service provider with a comprehensive portfolio of solutions that are designed to help businesses effectively manage important processes, including tax year-end administration.

Compliance in any facet of business management is critical, but specifically when it comes to finances – hence the focus on accuracy and efficiency in payroll administration.

While payroll administration has always been demanding and has to be run by skilled practitioners with meticulous attention to detail and a heightened sense of responsibility, HCM and HR experts agree it has become complicated.

Businesses are compelled to be registered with various industry bodies, for example Department of Labour (UIF, Employment Equity, etc.), Commissioner of Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID, FEM, RMA), SARS (PAYE, SDL, UIF), Bargaining Council etc.

This level of industry compliance means that there are a number of common pitfalls that typify payroll administration.

Some of these pitfalls include incorrect calculation of statutory deductions, failure to submit statutory submissions for example Department of Labour (UIF19, EEA2, EEA4 etc.), Commissioner of Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID, FEM, RMA), SARS (EMP501, EMP201) etc.

“The financial penalties for being non-compliant are very harsh,” says Ian McAlister, General Manager of CRS Technologies “and there are minimum requirements to be factored in, stipulated by the various Acts. There are several levels to compliance and this can be tricky for many businesses to handle – especially small-to-medium businesses that may not have the available capital to invest more in their payroll/HR capacity.”

According to HR and HCM solutions and services provider CRS Technologies an automated payroll for a small business generally starts at about R15 per employee, per month if run in-house. “Outsourced payroll in the region of R100 per payslip per month. A competent payroll administrator would earn about R30k per month,” said McAlister.

Going forward, the likelihood is that as payroll administration calls for more specific skills sets, legislation will be passed that will make it an offence to not run payroll on a recognised payroll system.

The company believes that it is next to impossible to run a compliant payroll on a spreadsheet.