CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

FEBRUARY 2021 – SOUTH AFRICA
UIF TERS AND REDUCED WORK TIME BENEFITS
It is important that employers note the following:

UIF Covid-19 TERS
Following the State of the Nation address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 11 February 2021, the Department of Employment and Labour has issued a notice confirming the announcement in respect of the extension of the UIF TERS benefit period.

In a regulation still to be issued, it is anticipated that sectors not fully operational since the beginning of the lockdown may be able to apply for TERS benefits from 16 October 2020 until 15 March 2021.

To view the notice, follow the link.

Reduced Work Time Benefits
In light of the extended UIF TERS benefit period, employers in the sectors targeted for relief will have the opportunity to apply for the TERS benefits. Since the UIF TERS application period came to an end on 31 December 2020, employees could make use of the Short Term/Reduced Work Time Benefits.

The Department of Employment and Labour will continue to provide financial relief through the already existing Short Term/Reduced Work Time Benefit.

The Reduced Work Time covers employees whose working hours have been reduced or who are forced to stay at home due to work stoppage.

Normally, a claim for this benefit is submitted by an employee with the assistance of the employer. However, the system has been enhanced to enable employers to submit bulk applications on behalf of employees and a spreadsheet has been designed to make this easy for employers.

As pointed out in a news flash from the South African Payroll Author’s Group (PAGSA) to its clients, employees and employers should be aware of the difference between the two benefits.

1.     The Reduced Work Time benefit uses, and then reduces, the employee’s “credit days”. These days are then no longer available to the employee to increase the value of unemployment benefits at a later stage.

2.     The TERS benefit does not use or reduce “credit days”. The value of the RWT benefit is, in almost all cases, less than the value of the TERS benefit.

A notice providing more details is expected to be published by the Department of Employment and Labour.

To access the bulk Reduced Work Time benefit application spreadsheet, follow the link.

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

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CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

FEBRUARY 2021 – SOUTH AFRICA
NEW NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE and BCEA EARNINGS THRESHOLD
It is important that employers note the following:

National Minimum Wage (NMW)
On 8 February the Department of Employment and Labour published Government Gazette No. 44136, providing for the amendment of the national minimum wage, as set out in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of the National Minimum Wage Act 9 of 2018.

With effect from 1 March 2021 the national minimum wage will be:

·        R21,69 per ordinary hour worked;

·        R21,69 per ordinary hour for farm workers;

·        R19,09 per ordinary hour for domestic workers;

·        R11,93 per ordinary hour for workers employed on an expanded public works programme.


In addition, the Minister published revised rates of pay for employees in the contract cleaning sector, employees employed in terms of learnership agreements, and employees in the wholesale and retail sector.

To view the official publication, follow the link.

BCEA Earnings Threshold
The Minister has also, in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) earnings threshold, revised the rate from R205 433.30 to R211 596.30, effective 1 March 2021.

Government Gazette No. 44137 of 8 February 2021 refers.

Chapter 2 of the Act deals with, among others, the regulation of working time, limit on the duration of an employee’s working week, and prescribing a rate at which an employee should be paid to work outside normal working hours.

Employees who earn in excess of the threshold are excluded from certain provisions of the BCEA, such as those relating to ordinary hours of work (section 9), overtime (section 10), compressed working weeks (section 11), averaging hours of work (section 12), meal intervals (section 14), daily and weekly rest periods (section 15), pay for work on Sundays (section 16), pay for night work (section 17(2)) and pay for public holidays where the employee works on a day he/she would not ordinarily work (section 18(3)).

To view the official publication, follow the link.

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

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CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

JANUARY 2021 – NON-SA COUNTRIES
RECENT LEGISLATION CHANGES: ESWATINI, KENYA, MOROCCO & ZAMBIA
It is important that employers note the following:
ESWATINI
National Provident Fund (NPF) contribution changes
An increase in the ceiling amount of wages for the purpose of the calculation of NPF contributions was published in Legal Notice No. 140 of 2020.

As of 1 January 2021 the ceiling amount on wages has increased from E 2,900 to E3,100 per month.

KENYA
Tax Bands 2021
The  Tax Laws (Amendment) No. 2 Act of 2020 was published on 24 December 2020, confirming changes to the PAYE bands and the tax rate in respect of payments or withdrawals from pension.

PAYE rates effective 1 January 2021:

Personal relief remains unchanged.

Pension tax bands:

For withdrawals after the expiry of 15 years from the date of joining the fund:

For pension income withdrawn before expiry of 15 years of pensionable service the new individual tax bands and rates are applicable on any amount withdrawn in excess of tax-free amount.

MOROCCO
Social Solidarity Contributions
The new Social Solidarity Contribution requirements for the year 2021 were published on 18 December 2020 in Bulletin Officiel 3 joumada I 1442. Other reference documents are the Morocco Draft Finance Law 2021 and the Code Général Des Impôts 2021.

The requirements are as follows:

·        1.5% contribution for individuals with an annual income equal to or exceeding MAD 240,000.

·        The income must be from a Moroccan source.

·        An employer is obliged to withhold the contribution.

This contribution applies to income for the year 2021 and is not tax deductible.

ZAMBIA
Tax Rates 2021
Proposals made during the Zambia Budget Speech to introduce an increase in the annual tax exemption threshold for PAYE was published on the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) website.

It should be noted that an official publication is not yet available to confirm the change in the tax rates. However, ZRA is making use of the new proposed tax rates in its PAYE calculation. Thus, we can assume that the new tax rates are indeed in effect.

This contribution applies to income for the year 2021 and is not tax deductible.

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

© 2020 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

DECEMBER 2020 – ZIMBABWE
2021 TAX CHANGES ENACTED BY FINANCE BILL
It is important that employers note the following:

Finance (No. 2) Bill 2020 enacted

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development approved the Finance Bill ahead of other amendments.

These amendments will give effect to various fiscal measures mentioned by the Minister of Finance in the National Budget Statement delivered on the 26th November 2020 and make certain modifications to improve revenue collection and administration.

The final Finance (No. 2) Bill 2020 Memorandum was published on 14 December. This gives effect to the amendments of the Finance Act [Chapter 23:04], the Income Tax Act [Chapter 23:06], the Value Added Tax Act [Chapter 23:12], the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02] and other Acts.

Clause 4 and 5 of the Bill alter the income tax bands on the basis of which rates of income tax are calculated in terms of section 14 of the Finance Act.

The PAYE tax free threshold will be increased from ZWL 5,000 to ZWL 10,000 per month, effective 1 January 2021.

Clause 17 amends the Third Schedule to the Income Tax Act by increasing the bonus tax-free threshold from ZWL5 000 to ZWL25 000 per annum, with effect from 1 November 2020.

View the Finance Bill (No. 2) 2020 here.

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

© 2020 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

DECEMBER 2020 – SOUTH AFRICA
UIF TERS
It is important that employers note the following:

Latest communication from the Department of Employment and Labour
On Friday, 27 November 2020 the Department of Employment and Labour published Government Gazette 43943, Notice No. R 1270 to announce the withdrawal of the COVID-19 Temporary Employers/Employees Relief Scheme (TERS) directive, previously published in Government Gazette 43693.


Government Gazette 43693 was the latest TERS Directive issued on 7 September 2020, as referred to in the CRS News Flash of 17 September 2020. The said Directive was published to inform employers and employees of the extension of benefits for certain categories of employees until 15 August 2020.  Section 4 of the Directive states that the TERS benefit period would come to an end when the period of national disaster ends, unless it is withdrawn by the Minister on an earlier date.

The Minister of Employment and Labour has exercised his right to withdraw the TERS benefit, thus the withdrawal of the TERS benefit will come into effect on 15 October 2020.

Even though the effective date of 15 October implies that the benefit is only available up to and including 14 October, benefit applications will include 15 October. This was confirmed by updated TERS letters, respectively issued on 28 November and 4 December on the Department of Employment and Labour website.

These letters also address input data which did not meet the requirements of the TERS system, as well as the processing of claims for the period 16 September to 15 October.

To view the updated TERS letter of 4 December 2020, follow the link.

No further applications will be accepted beyond 31 December 2020.

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

© 2020 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

NOVEMBER 2020 – MALAWI
UPDATE: NEW INCOME TAX RATES
It is important that employers note the following:

Malawi Pay As You Earn (PAYE) changes
With reference to the News Flash of 16 October 2020, new tax rates for Malawi have been announced.

On 16 November 2020 Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) released a press statement and published a public notice on the new income tax rates which came into effect on 3 November 2020.

The Taxation (Amendment) Act and the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act have been published in the Malawi Government Gazette. Both acts have come into effect and should be implemented.

As far as the Taxation (Amendment) Act is concerned, the amendments include the increase of the tax-free threshold for PAYE from K45, 000 to K100,000 per month.

The new monthly rates are as follows:


 

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

© 2020 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

NOVEMBER 2020 – MAURITIUS
MRA NOTICE TO EMPLOYERS AND SELF-EMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS

It is important that employers note the following:

Mauritius CSG, NSF and Training Levy

The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) has published a notice to inform employers that, following the introduction of the Contribution Sociale Généralisée (CSG), the deadline for the submission of the monthly contribution return and payment of contributions for the month of September 2020 is Monday, 30 November 2020.

 

The monthly contribution return includes contributions in respect of the following:

 

·        Contribution Sociale Généralisée (CSG);

·        National Savings Funds (NSF); and

·        Training Levy.

 

The deadline for the submission of the monthly contribution return for any subsequent month is the end of the following month.

 

The facility for the submission of the monthly contribution return and payment of the contributions is available on MRA’s website, www.mra.mu  and through the Mauritius Network Services (MNS).

 

Employers are informed that the facility to file the joint PAYE/Contribution Return for the month of September 2020 and onwards will continue to be available on MRA’s website.

 

No penalty and interest will be applicable for late payment of PAYE for the month of September 2020 where the return is submitted and payment is made on or before Monday, 30 November 2020.

 

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

© 2020 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

NOVEMBER 2020 – SOUTH AFRICA
MEDIUM TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT
It is important that employers note the following:

Highlights of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement

The Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, delivered the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on Wednesday, 28 October 2020.

Mboweni said that South Africa will take years to get back to pre-Covid GDP levels, with a sharp 2020 Covid‐19 recession hitting first, before real GDP growth starts climbing again.

The 2021 outlook is more uncertain.

Highlights summarised

·        The current year’s tax revenue is projected to be R8.7billion lower than the June budget estimate. Gross tax revenue will be 17.9% lower than collections in 2019/20.

·        The consolidated deficit narrows from 15.7% of GDP in 2020/21 to 7.3% by 2023/24.

·        Gross national debt is projected to stabilise at 95.3% of GDP by 2025/26.

·        The tax‐to‐GDP ratio is only expected to recover to the 2019/20 level by 2027/28.

·        No new tax proposals were introduced. The Government continues to project tax increases of R5 billion in 2021/22.

·        Cabinet decided to extend the social relief of distress grant to the end of January 2021 and will direct R6.8 billion from the public employment programme allocation.

·        Mboweni also announced that R10.5 billion has been allocated to SAA to implement the business rescue plan.

·        Government proposes consolidated spending of R6.2 trillion over the 2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework,  of which R1.2 trillion goes to learning and culture, R978 billion to social development and R724 billion to health.

·        Improved tax collection and administration continue to be essential to fiscal consolidation.

·        No additional funding was earmarked for the tax administration to rebuild its capacity.

·        The near-term objectives for the tax administration include:

·        Finalising a tax gap study in December 2020

·        Focusing on international taxes, particularly aggressive transfer pricing;

·        Increasing enforcement to eliminate syndicated fraud and tax crimes;

·        Continuing to leverage third-party data to identify non-compliant taxpayers

·        Greater compliance enforcement of PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and Value Added Tax.

·        All NEDLAC constituencies have reached agreement for the annuitisation of provident funds to take effect in March 2021, to enable all members to continue to benefit from tax deductions on their contributions.

 

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

© 2020 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

OCTOBER 2020 – NON-SA COUNTRIES

RECENT LEGISLATION CHANGES: MALAWI, MAURITIUS & ZAMBIA
It is important that employers note the following:

Malawi PAYE changes

With reference to the Provisional Budget Statement for Malawi 2020/2021 and an announcement made by the Finance Minister on 11 September 2020, the Malawi Government has proposed an increase in the PAYE tax-free bracket.

Conflicting information has been published regarding the increase. Upon enquiry, the Malawi Revenue Authority confirmed the increase of the tax-free bracket from MK45,000 to MK100,000 per month, effective 1 October 2020.

Kindly note that a government gazette confirming the changes is not yet available and the changes are subject to approval.

The Minister also announced that the middle tax bracket of 15% has been removed. He is quoted as stating: “Government is aware that this adjustment is huge and to minimise its impact on the base for Personal Income Tax, the 15% middle bracket under the Pay As You Earn regime has been removed.”

This was not mentioned in the Provisional Budget Statement or the Budget Statement, therefore it cannot be confirmed.

An update will be circulated as soon as the official gazette has been published.

Mauritius Training Levy
The Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 (Act 7 of 2020) was published in a Legal Supplement in August 2020. The Legal Supplement includes amendments to various Acts, such as the Income Tax Act and the National Pensions Act. Amendments to the Income Tax Act describes the changes to the Solidarity Levy, while the National Pensions Act was amended to include the new Contribution Sociale Genéralisée (CSG).

In addition, the Human Resource Development Act was amended to announce changes to the National Training Fund levies.

Previously, every employer was required to pay a training levy at the rate of 1.5% of the total basic wage or salary of its employees. For the period July 2019 to June 2020, an employer was required to pay the levy at the rate of 1% for employees whose total basic wage or salary did not exceed Rs 10,000.

As from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, every employer must pay a training levy of 1% in respect of every employee.

Mauritius Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund (PRGF)
On 3 September 2020 the Ministry of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training circulated communication regarding the further postponement of the PRGF.

The obligation to submit monthly PRGF returns and make payment of contribution has been postponed to January 2022. Employers may opt to file the monthly PRGF return and make payment of PRGF.

However, as a result of the negative impact of COVID-19, employers may, during the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021, in the event of justified dismissal or resignation of an employee, pay directly to the employee, with his consent, the PRGF amount due to the MRA.

Employers have a legal obligation to submit an exit statement to MRA in respect of that employee. The Ministry of Social Security will thereafter notify the employer of the amount of PRGF to be paid in respect of past services of that employee.

Mauritius Contribution Sociale Genéralisée (CSG)
Government Notice No. 214 of 2020 was published on 9 September 2020 where regulations were made by the Minister under section 30F of the National Pensions Act.

These regulations may be referred to as the Contribution Sociale Genéralisée Regulations 2020 and can be viewed by following this link.

Zambia 2020/2021 Budget Speech
On 25 September 2020 the Zambian Minister of Finance delivered the 2021 budget to the National Assembly with the theme “Stimulate Economic Recovery and Build Resilience to Safeguard Livelihoods and Protect the Vulnerable”.

Proposals made affecting employers/employees are:

·        An increase in the annual tax exemption threshold for PAYE was proposed from K36,000 to K48,000 and the adjustment of tax bands.

The proposed measure is aimed at increasing taxpayers’ disposable income.

·        Reference interest rate applicable on employee loan interest benefit.

The Minister proposes to adjust the reference interest rate to be used in the determination of tax applicable on employee loan interest benefits to be the Bank of Zambia policy rate plus a margin of 2.0%.

 

This will allow for uniformity of interest rates used for assessment of the loan benefit.

 

To read the full text of the Budget Speech, follow the link.

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
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RS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

CRS Technologies (Pty) Ltd

 

SEPTEMBER 2020 – EGYPT

TEMPORARY SOLIDARITY CONTRIBUTION
It is important that employers note the following:

New law approved to introduce a temporary solidarity contribution

The Prime Minister of Egypt proposed a new law which suggests deducting a monetary amount from employees to support the country in dealing with the impacts of pandemics and natural disasters.

The new law, Law No. 170 of 2020, was approved and issued in the official gazette on 13 August 2020. It took effect on 14 August and will be applicable for a period of 12 months.

The law applies to all employees in the private and the public sectors, as well as chairpersons and board members of all public and private entities, whether the relevant employee or person occupies a permanent or temporary position, or acts as an expert, consultant or in any other capacity.

The contribution rates are as follows:

·        1% from the net income of active employees

·        0.5% from the net pension of retired employees


The contribution will be based on both fixed and variable salary elements (including allowances, commissions, incentives, bonuses, overtime payments) after payment of payroll taxes and social insurance contributions.

Active employees with a monthly net income of EGP 2,000 or less and retired employees with a monthly net pension of EGP 2,000 or less are excluded from contributing.

The contributions must be paid into a bank account set up by the Ministry of Finance.

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
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RS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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