SEPTEMBER 2019 – SOUTH AFRICA
NEW VERSION OF PAYE BRS PUBLISHED

It is important that employers note the following:

SARS PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2019 release) version 18.0.5 published 

The latest SARS PAYE Employer Reconciliation Business Requirement Specification (BRS) was published on Wednesday, 4 September. The requirements in this version of the BRS will become effective from September 2019 until it is replaced by an updated version.

Minor changes regarding discrepancies identified (indicated in red in the BRS) during the BETA testing cycle of the PAYE filing season 2019/2020 were made.

A summary of the sections where changes were made is as follows:

Employer information section:

  • Code 2037 – Diplomatic Indemnity Indicator:
    The wording “years of assessment” has been replaced with transaction year in the sentence “From 2020 transaction year, this field is mandatory”.

Employee remuneration information:

Changes in validation rules.

  • Code 4150 – Reason code for IT3(a) – Reason for non-deduction of tax:
    Value 3 or 03 is only valid if code 3616/3666 or 3620/3670 (code 3690 in previous BRS) has been completed
  • Validation rule “Value 7 or 07 is only valid from 2005 year of assessment and if code 3619/3669 has been completed”, has been replaced with:
    • Value 7 or 07 is [only] valid from 2005 to 2016 years of assessment.
    • Value 7 or 07 is valid from 2017 year of assessment if code 3619/3669 has been completed.

To view the new BRS, 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.

AUGUST 2019 – SOUTH AFRICA
NEW VERSION OF PAYE BRS PUBLISHED
It is important that employers note the following:

SARS PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2019 release) version 18.0.4 published

The latest SARS PAYE Employer Reconciliation Business Requirement Specification (BRS) was published on Monday, 19 August. The requirements in this version of the BRS will become effective from September 2019 until it is replaced by an updated version.

Minor changes regarding discrepancies identified during the testing cycle of the PAYE Filing Season 2019/2020 project were made in the PAYE BRS V18.0.4. The detail of these changes is highlighted in grey in the BRS.

A summary of the sections where changes were made is as follows:

Employer information section:

  • Employer Contact Person: Cell No:
    Must be at least 10 characters long.
  • Employer SEZ Code:
    The wording “Year of Assessment” has been replaced with “Transaction Year”.
  • Diplomatic Indemnity Indicator:
    The wording “Years of Assessment” has been replaced with “Transaction Year”.

Deduction codes:

  • Code 4582:
    The wording “This code must not be printed on the IRP5/IT3(a) certificate” has been removed.
  • Code 4583:
    The wording “This code must not be printed on the IRP5/IT3(a) certificate” has been removed.

To view the new BRS, follow the link

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
© 2019 C
RS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

AUGUST 2019 – SOUTH AFRICA NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE BILL 2019

It is important that employers note the following:

National Health Insurance Bill published

The Department of Health published and introduced the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill 2019 to the National Assembly on Thursday, 8 August.

The Bill aims to achieve the following:

  • Universal access to quality health care services in the Republic in accordance with section 27 of the Constitution
  • To establish a National Health Insurance Fund and to set out its powers, functions and governance structures;
  • To provide a framework for the strategic purchasing of health care services by the Fund on behalf of users;
  • To create mechanisms for the equitable, effective and efficient utilisation of the resources of the Fund to meet the health needs of the population;
  • To preclude or limit undesirable, unethical and unlawful practices in relation to the Fund and its users; and
  • To provide for matters connected.

Also, the government says the aim of the NHI is to help medical scheme members with their high out-of-pocket costs. At the same time, it also acknowledges that state medical staff and hospitals can’t cope with treating the majority of South Africans who don’t have medical aid.

However, there remain huge concerns about whether the government can afford and manage its NHI plans.

A summary of what can be expected:

  • Every South African citizen will become a member of the NHI Fund.
  • Citizens who earn an income will contribute towards the NHI Fund.
  • The contribution percentage that could be levied on an employee and its employer has not yet been determined.
  • Government will levy an extra tax on taxpayers’ personal income and use the money it will save by not giving taxpayers tax credits for being a member of a medical scheme.
  • Government will use South African citizens’ tax money, as well as some of its healthcare budget, to buy services from public and private doctors, specialists and hospitals that are accredited with the state.
  • The fund will cover a range of medical services, treatments and procedures for free, except if it is not a medical necessity.
  • On an annual basis, the government will determine what prices will be paid for by specific services.
  • Citizens might be expected to register with a general practitioner (GP) who is contracted with the state. Each contracted GP might have a set number of patients who they will service for the NHI Fund.
  • There will be strict rules about seeing specialists. Citizens won’t be able to go directly to a specialist but will have to obtain a referral first.
  • The state will buy medicines for everyone.
  • Medical schemes may disappear.
  • Foreigners won’t be covered. Foreigners visiting South Africa must have travel insurance to receive health care services through the NHI Fund.
  • The fund will be managed by a CEO, who will be appointed by the Minister of Health.

Once the Bill is assented by the President, it will become law on a date fixed by the President by proclamation in the Government Gazette.

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
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AUGUST 2019 – MOROCCO MINIMUM WAGE

It is important that employers note the following: 

Minimum wage increased

Morocco has a government-mandated minimum wage which stipulates that no worker in Morocco can be paid less than this mandatory minimum rate of pay. Employers in Morocco who fail to pay the minimum wage may be subject to punishment by Morocco’s government.

Two sectors are specified in the national minimum wage rates:

  • SMAG for employees and workers carrying out agricultural work;
  • SMIG for employees and workers in industrial and commercial sectors, as well as liberal professions.

The social agreement signed in April 2019 provided for an increase of SMIG and SMAG of 10% over a period of two years.

  • An increase of SMIG/SMAG of 5% from 1 July 2019
  • An increase of SMIG/SMAG of 5% from 1 July 2020

The value of the SMIG as of 1 July 2019 is fixed at 14.13 Dirham per hour.
The SMIG monthly is equal to 14.13 Dirham per hour * 191 hours per month = 2,698.83 MAD.

As of 1 July 2020, the value of the SMIG will be 14.81 Dirham per hour.
The monthly SMIG equals 14.81 Dirham per hour * 191 hours per month = 2,828.71 MAD.

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
© 2019 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Adjustment of minimum wages for 2019/2020 in Botswana

The Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development has published a notification informing the public that the Government of Botswana has approved an increase for minimum wage rates for 2019/2020.
The adjusted minimum wage rates took effect on 1 July 2019.

Failure to adhere to the stipulated rates will be in violation of Section 138 of the Employment Act, Cap 47:01 and punishable.
Employers who can afford to pay more than the above-mentioned minimum wage are encouraged to do so.

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
© 2019 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2019 release) version 18.0.3 published

The latest PAYE Employer Reconciliation Business Requirement Specification (BRS) was published on Tuesday, 30 July. The requirements in this version of the BRS will become effective from September 2019 until it is replaced by an updated version.

Minor changes were made in the PAYE BRS V18.0.3. The detail of these changes is highlighted in purple in the BRS.

A summary of the sections where changes were made are as follows: Employee pay periods section:

Employee pay periods section:
• ETI employment date (code 3190)

Directive information section:
• Directive number (code 3230)

Employee Remuneration section:
• Income received
• Employment Tax Incentive code (code 4118)

Employment Tax Incentive information:
• Minimum wages (code 7003)
• Monthly calculated ETI (code 7004)

To view the new BRS, follow the link.

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
© 2019 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Rwanda Budget Speech for 2019/2020
The 2019/2020 Budget speech was delivered on 13 June 2019 by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana.

The theme for the 2019/20 budget is “Transforming lives through Industrialisation and Job Creation for Shared Prosperity”.

Highlights:

  • Rwanda’s budget will increase by 11% in the next year, while the government projects slower growth. About 86% of the total budget will come from internal sources.
  • Government has proposed to increase the national budget from 2.5 to 2.8 trillion Rwf for the fiscal year 2019/20.
  • Rwanda’s GDP grew by 8.6%, compared to the initial projection of 7.2%.
  • The global economy registered a decline in economic growth from 3.8% in 2017 to 3.6% in 2018.
  • The Rwandan economy is projected to grow by 7.8% in 2019, by 8.1% in 2020, and by 8.2% in 2021.
  • Inflation was maintained below the 5% medium-term inflation benchmark. The average headline inflation was at 1.4% in 2018, from 4.8% recorded in 2017.

Key tax measures

  • Revision of the law on tax procedures, stating that every person carrying out commercial activities would have to use the new Electronic Billing Machine (EBM) for all, expanding the coverage to non-VAT registered persons and improving tax compliance.
  • The Rwanda government has also proposed changes to the tax penalties regime to cap penalties arising from audits and investigations to a maximum of 20% on any understatement exceeding 10% of the declared tax. Previously the penalties were progressive, rising to 50%.
  • An additional proposal has been introduced to reduce the 60% late filing and 50% late payment penalties. The proposed penalties will be computed based on the default period.
  • Rwanda has signed double tax agreements with Turkey and the UAE.
  • No changes to personal income tax rates were proposed.

 

Uganda Budget Speech for 2019/2020

The 2019/2020 Budget speech was delivered on 13 June 2019 by Hon. Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The theme for the 2019/20 budget is “Industrialisation for Job Creation and Shared Prosperity”.

The budget prioritised the following four strategic areas:

  • Enhancing key primary growth sectors
  • Increasing infrastructure access and reliability
  • Human capital development
  • Maintaining peace, security and improving governance

Highlights

  • GDP grew from 5.7% to 6.1% in 2018/19.
  • The budget deficit as a ratio of GDP for the new financial year is projected at 8.7%, compared to 5.8% this year.
  • Government debt rose to Shs. 42,760 Billion (equivalent to US$ 11.5 Billion) as at end December 2018.
  • The average Inflation was 3.4%, within the policy target of 5% per annum.

Key fiscal measures

  • To strengthen tax administration and restore public confidence in the tax system, the following interventions will be implemented over the next five fiscal years:
    • Review tax policies for greater simplicity, efficiency and sustainable revenues.
    • Involve taxpayers more fully in the tax policy formulation process.
    • Promote an attractive business environment to potential investors, including the provision of a business-friendly tax environment, and eliminating distortions to private sector investment decisions.
    • Support investment in human capital by granting incentives to businesses which provide apprenticeship in priority sectors, accredited training and education based at the workplace.
    • Eliminate revenue leakages and enforce tax obligations by re-examining rules and restricting tax exemptions.
    • Enhance Uganda Revenue Authority’s administrative efficiency through additional staff recruitment, better training, and modernisation and expansion of ICT capacity.
    • Enhance compliance through registration, improved taxpayer services and education.
    • Develop a simplified tax regime for small and medium enterprises, including informal sector businesses to encourage tax compliance.
    • Strengthen the revenue-raising capacity of local governments by broadening the range of revenue instruments available to them.
  • The reward payable to a person who provides information leading to the recovery of a tax or duty has been reduced from 10% to 5% of the principal tax recovered.

No changes to personal income tax rates were proposed.

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
© 2019 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Monthly fixed cap for social security contributions increased

Two significant changes regarding the mandatory monthly contributions due from employees and employers have been introduced by the Egyptian government.

Only Egyptian nationals are required to make contributions, unless a reciprocal social security agreement with another country applies. Both the employer and employee must contribute to the scheme and remit monthly contributions to the Social Insurance Organisation.

Contributions to social security are made up of two components:

  • Fixed contributions for salaries under a certain earnings threshold
    Effective 1 July 2019, the cap for the monthly fixed basic salary contribution rate is raised to EGP 1,670 (from EGP 1,510). Employee and employer contributions at the fixed basic rate are 14% and 26%, respectively.
  • Variable contributions for salaries above that threshold
    In January 2019 the monthly cap for variable social security contributions were raised by 20% to EGP 4,040. Both employees and employers contribute to variable social security at a rate of 11% and 24%, respectively.

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
© 2019 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Reduction of official interest rate announced

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the South African Reserve Bank has decided to reduce the repo rate for the first time since March 2018. The announcement was made on Wednesday, 18 July 2019.

The repo rate is reduced by 25 basis points to 6,5% per year, effective from 19 July 2019. This means that the rate at which the SARB lends to your bank has decreased from 6,75% to 6,5%.
For employers, the official interest rate applicable to payrolls will be 7,5%, taking effect 1 August 2019.

The definition of “official interest rate” in the Seventh Schedule of the Income Tax Act means:

 

• In the case of a loan which is denominated in the currency of the Republic, the South African repurchase (repo) rate + 100 basis points; or

• In the case of a loan which is denominated in any other currency, the South African repurchase rate applicable in that currency +100 basis points.

 

Where a new repurchase rate or equivalent rate is determined, the new interest rate applies for the purposes of this definition from the first day of the month following the date on which that new repurchase rate or equivalent rate comes into operation.

Tanzania Budget Speech for 2019/2020

The 2019/2020 Budget speech was delivered on 13 June 2019 by the Minister for Finance and Planning, Hon Dr Philip Mpango.

The budget focuses on the National Five Years Development Plan 2016/17-2020/21 to build an industrial economy and improve the citizens’ welfare.

Highlights:

  • Tanzania’s GDP in quarter 3 2018 grew by 6.8%, compared to 5% during the same period in 2017.
  • The economic activities that showed the fastest growth were health (13.2%), transportation and cargo storage (12.4%), water (10.7%), construction (7.4%), information and communication (7.3%), manufacturing (7.3%), and business and maintenance (7.3%).
  • The inflation rate is stable. Inflation fell from an average of 4% in January 2018 to reach 3.4% in June 2018 and continued to decline further to 3%.
  • Budget deficit is estimated at 2.3% of GDP in 2019/20 from the likely outturn of 2% of 2018/19.
  • Tax revenue is estimated at 13.1% of GDP in 2019/20 from the likely outturn 12.1% in 2018/19.
  • The Tanzanian government intends to increase and strengthen domestic resource mobilisation aiming at financing government operations, including infrastructure projects and social services.
  • To attain the estimated domestic revenue targets, the government has prepared specific administrative strategies that will be implemented in the medium term.

Proposed income tax measures

  • Amend the Income Tax Act to increase the minimum amount of turnover required for taxpayers to start filling the accounts to Tanzania Revenue Authority from twenty million shillings (20,000,000) to one hundred million shillings (100,000,000).
  • Amend the First Schedule of the Income Tax Act to introduce a presumptive tax regime to taxpayers with an annual turnover from four million shillings (4,000,000) and one hundred million shillings (100,000,000), who will not be obliged to submit financial accounts to the Tanzania Revenue Authority for determining income tax. The objective of this measure is to reduce the tax compliance burden on small businesses and align the tax rates with the minimum amount of turnover required for businesses to use the electronic fiscal device (EFD) machine, where the current amount is fourteen million shillings (14,000,000).
  • Amend Section 70(2) of the Tax Administration Act, CAP 438 to extend the period given for 100% tax amnesty on interest and penalties, for six months up to December 2019. The extension is granted to taxpayers who had already applied for amnesty. This measure follows the positive response from taxpayers after the tax amnesty was announced in July 2018.
  • No changes to personal income tax rates were proposed.

 

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

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