Finally, for payroll practitioners being able to breathe a sigh of relief after what is usually a busy tax year-end, the thought of going through the same process mere months later is enough to lock yourself in a room and isolate you from everybody, the irony! can’t believe it!
This does not however have to be the case if you take into consideration the fact that you can prepare for it months in advance.
When considering what type of information is being submitted you are easily able to anticipate the possible stumbling blocks you may encounter. Data-centric validations like incomplete personal information, differences in statutory contributions, and the odd curveball from SARS now and then can easily cause unwanted admin.
As a payroll practitioner must be well prepared for any of this it is best to leave as little to do as possible when approaching the submission window. Small tasks can bottleneck and become administrative headaches when dealt with too late.
So why not break up the work into much smaller monthly portions?
Simple things like ensuring that new employees being taken on have their addresses, bank details and contact information captured the first time around will remove endless lines from your exception reports when the time comes.
Then there is the EMP201 submission which already occurs monthly, meaning that you have full control over ensuring that what has been submitted is indeed what is reflecting on the payroll. It happens on occasion that payrolls have late changes made to them and this is usually where the differences in what is declared to SARS and what is contained in the payroll occur.
Implementing best practices and relative controls will ensure that your reporting is always the most recent reflection of payroll-related financial transactions. Picking up any over or underpayments to SARS in time will allow you to apply any corrections needed either in the same month or at most a month later.
You will need to ensure that you stay on top of the latest legislation to avoid any errors, for example using incorrect IRP5 codes and the impact of the pandemic. Whilst legislation with regards to the payroll environment would not often change during the tax year, the last 18 months have proved that the unexpected should sometimes be anticipated.
To consolidate the above and compress it into 3 main tasks to perform, your interim submission preparation can be approached as follows:
Ensure accuracy and completeness of employee records upon take-on and use the Exception report to clear the last few employees of personal information related flags,
Ensure that what is being submitted to SARS is truly a reflection of what is contained in the payroll. Submit the EMP201 in time to allow for a review and comparison between that and the payroll. Draw a year-to-date Statement of Accounts and review the declarations to those of the EMP201 from the system even before having to do the interim submission to allow for time to perform corrective actions,
Lastly, stay abreast of any payroll-related legislative changes or possible changes in the approach to conducting the interim submission as changes can sometimes emanate from Easyfile itself.
It is important to remember that the interim submission is not the end of the line but rather a means to see that you are still on par halfway through the tax year. This does not mean that you need to leave all the corrections for the second half of the tax year but rather see this as an opportunity to be better prepared for the tax year-end, which is, after all, only a month away.
For more information on the above topic, please contact the LabourNet Helpdesk at
0861 LABNET (0861 522638).
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