Employer Annual Reconciliation Due

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Employers should be aware that Employer Annual Reconciliation submission due date is fast approaching. If the relevant deadlines are missed, certain penalties will apply.

When should it be paid?

The Employer Annual Reconciliation starts on 1 April 2018 and employers have until 31 May 2018 to submit their Annual Reconciliation Declarations (EMP501) for the period 1 March 2017 to 28 February 2018 in respect of the Monthly Employer Declarations (EMP201) submitted, payments made, Employee Income Tax Certificates [IRP5/IT3(a)], and ETI, if applicable.

What do I need to do?

Employer Annual Reconciliation involves an employer submitting an accurate Employer Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501), Employee Tax Certificates [IRP5/IT3(a)s] to be issued and, if applicable, a Tax Certificate Cancellation Declaration (EMP601).

Every employer who is registered at SARS for Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Unemployment Insurance Fund(UIF) or Skills Development Levy(SDL), should submit an EMP501. An employer is required to submit accurate reconciliation declaration (EMP501) in respect of the monthly declarations (EMP201) that was submitted, payments made and the IRP5 / IT3(a) certificates for the following periods:

  • Annual period: this is for the period from 1 March 2017 to 28 February 2018
  • Interim period: this is for the period from 1 March 2018 to 31 August 2018

What is PAYE?

Employees’ Tax refers to the tax required to be deducted by an employer from an employee’s remuneration paid or payable. The process of deducting or withholding tax from remuneration as it is earned by an employee is commonly referred to as Pay-As-You-Earn, or PAYE.

What happens when you miss the deadline?

Employers who miss deadline submissions on any of the below are subject to a percentage-based penalty:

  1. Non-submission of an Employer Annual Reconciliation (EMP501) on or before the due date.
  2. Non-submission of employee IRP5 / IT3(a) certificates.
  3. Submission of incorrect or inaccurate data relating to the IRP5 / IT3(a) certificates.

This penalty will be charged for each month that the employer continues to fail to remedy the non-submission.

Avoid the confusion and late submission by contacting us for assistance.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.  Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Lesotho Value Added Tax (VAT) Rates Change

Effective Date:  1st April 2018

The Minister of Finance Dr. Moeketsi Majoro in his budget speech delivered in Parliament on 28 February 2018 announced changes in rates of Value Added Tax (VAT) on the supply of goods and services. Legal Notice No 27 has been published in the Government Gazette No 24 of 23 March 2018 to effect the changes. The new VAT rates are effective from 1st April 2018 and they are as follows; 

  • The standard rate of VAT will change from 14% to 15%,
  • Electricity rate increases from 5% to 8%, and
  • Telecommunications rate increases from 5% to 9%.

Important Aspects to Note

Time of Supply 

It is important to establish when the taxable supply is made as that is the time on which VAT should be accounted for (i.e. point at which VAT becomes payable to Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA)). In simple terms, time of supply is the date on which the transaction occurs or is deemed to occur and that in turn determines the applicable VAT rate. 

The general time of supply rule is the earlier of the date on which –

  • The goods are delivered or made available or the performance of the service is completed;
  • An invoice for the supply is issued; or
  • Payment (including part-payment) for the supply is 

This note applies to most transactions that fall within the general time of supply rule. The note does not deal with special time of supply rules which apply on some transactions like; supplies made under rental agreements, hire purchase or finance lease, auctions, own or exempt use. 

Prices Quoted or Advertised 

All prices advertised or quoted by vendors for taxable supplies must include VAT at the applicable rate (unless the supply is zero-rated). Vendors must state that the price includes VAT in any advertisement or quotation, or the different elements of the total price must be stated i.e. the total amount of VAT, the price excluding VAT and the price inclusive of VAT. Vendors must therefore ensure that all price tickets, labels, quotations, advertisements, etc., reflect the new VAT rates from 1 April 2018. 

Accounting Systems 

From 1 April 2018, vendors must ensure that their accounting systems including sales and billing systems are updated to reflect VAT at all applicable rates. Vendors should test their systems for errors, and check that transactions are processed and reflected at the correct VAT rates.

In some instances, transactions processed after 1st April 2018 may be subject to the old VAT rate e.g. 14%. This, as previously indicated will depend on the applicable time of supply rule. This therefore means that it must be ensured that accounting systems are able to accommodate the different VAT rates. 

Documents: Quotations, Cash Register Slips, Tax Invoices, Debit and Credit Notes

Vendors must ensure that any quotes received on or after 1st April 2018 correctly reflect the new VAT rates. On the other hand, cash register slips and tax invoices issued must reflect the correct VAT rate in order to avoid disputes with consumers and additional taxes and penalties where the output tax is under declared as a result of the incorrect VAT rate used. 

Supplier must be contacted if an incorrect VAT rate is reflected on a document, or the amount is incorrectly calculated. 

Vat Returns 

The correct VAT rates must be used when calculating the input tax on goods or services acquired during the tax periods before and on or after 1st April 2018. Vendors must also ensure that adjustments reflected on the VAT returns in respect of debit or credit notes, are made at the correct VAT rates.
The VAT Return has been updated to reflect the new VAT rates. 

Importation of Goods 

Registered importers or clearing agents must take note that Customs declarations reflect the new VAT rates, generally 15% in respect of goods entered for home consumption on or after 1st April 2018. Invoices issued by the clearing agent for their services of clearing the goods must reflect the correct standard VAT rate. The rate will depend on the general time of supply rules (that is, the earlier of when an invoice was issued, the performance of a service was completed or payment/part-payment was made). 

Notes 

  • This NOTICE mainly deals with the transitional aspects and does not cover all other aspects of VAT.
  • The normal requirements for a tax invoice and all other documents have not
  • VAT registration and other requirements, including thresholds for registration, have not
  • Care must be taken in filing VAT returns for periods after 1 April to ensure that there is no overstatement of input tax

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Employees’ tax reconciliation 2018

April to May each year is the time that employers are given to perform their employees’ tax reconciliation. During this Employer Reconciliation process, employers are required to submit an EMP501 declaration which reconciles the taxes collected from employees with the monies paid to SARS and the total tax value of employees, income tax certificates (IRP5), for the respective period.

The Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962, states inter alia, that employers are required to:

  1. deduct the correct amount of tax from employees,
  2. pay this amount to SARS monthly,
  3. reconcile these deductions and payments during the annual and the interim reconciliation, and
  4. issue tax certificates to employees.

To comply with the Income Tax Act, employers must submit their Monthly Employer Declarations (EMP201s) to SARS on or before the 7th of the following month.

SARS has over the past few years improved the process of reconciliations with the use of applications, such as eFiling and e@syfile. It has significantly reduced the administration required to submit the reconciliations.

The EMP501 reconciliation for the 12 months ended 28 February 2018, must be rendered on or before 31 May 2018.

Some important pointers to bear in mind:

  • E@sy-File Employer software has been updated to version 6.8.3
  • Employers are urged to check their PAYE banking details on the e-Filing RAV01 form.
  • This will ensure that the banking details are correct in cases where an ETI refund is expected.
  • If the details are incorrect, employers will need to visit a SARS branch to update it.
  • Copies of all declarations submitted and related supporting documents (relevant material) must be kept for five years.
  • Send your reconciliation before the deadline to avoid penalties and interest being charged.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Why it is important to know the value of your business

A properly considered business valuation can be the first step in many essential business processes and activities. Although there are many examples, these might include procurement of a buy and sell policy or facilitation of a business restructuring process, for instance.

Initiating negotiations during a sale of business transaction, probably remains the most common business valuation trigger however, and for many business owners, such event might be the first and only time the thought of having a business valuation performed will occur.

Business valuations are therefore often treated as the end, rather than the means to an end.

Growing a successful business requires an enormous time investment. When doing it right, this investment is justified however, since no other investment has the potential to reward your time investment over the long-term, better than a successful business. For this reason, we have always found it peculiar when business owners are willing to wait until just before sale before deeming it important to quantify the value of their plans, time (often years), efforts, etc.

This is probably where the value of proper valuation is mostly overlooked – we tend to view valuation as the end while it should maybe rather be viewed as a guiding key performance indicator on the journey to comfortable retirement or eventual exit from a business, regardless of what the reason for exit might be. Valuations should be the means to an end, employed to help inform decision making and strategic process, not when you are ready to sell, but rather while it is still possible to make positive adjustments to your business.

In this context, we generally advise that a business valuation be performed at least on an annual basis, even if only employed in internal processes, as a key performance indicator. By taking this approach, performance and growth can be measured periodically while the necessary strategic and operational adjustments can be made while there is still time to build value through good and prudent business decisions.

Having said this, it is important to note that the value of a valuation is limited to the quality of its interpretation and application. It is important that a valuation instructs focussed action, and it is therefore always a good idea to involve a trusted and experienced financial advisor in your strategic, as well as financial processes.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency and blockchain has been the hot topic in the media the past year. It is a concept that few truly understand, and could change the future for everyone in a major way.

But what is cryptocurrency and blockchain?

Per the online dictionary:

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

The most popular currently in the market is Bitcoin; others include Eutherian and Litecoin.  There are various platforms on which to trade in cryptocurrency, for example Luno. Luno functions like the JSE, where willing buyers and willing sellers transact in shares / cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.

An example to demontrate how blockchain works:

Pete wants to buy Bitcoin from Mary.  They both use Luno as platform to trade on.

By joining Luno, Pete and Mary effectively each receives a copy of the big overall “ledger” that shows where each unit of Bitcoin is at that point in time and where each unit of Bitcoin has been.

Each transaction is represented as a block. Each time a transaction is authorised, a block is then added to the other blocks already in place creating a chain, hence the term “blockchain technology”.

The chain is then compared between all the copies of the “ledgers” that are spread out over the world to validate them. You can actually add Bitcoin to your own account without actually purchasing any, but as soon as your ledger compares to the others around you, it will see the unauthorised transactions and reject your version.

Bitcoin is severly encrypted, therefore to be able to finalise a transaction, there are people in the market who solve very complex mathematical problems using a significant amount of expensive computing power to authorise the transaction. These people are called “miners”. They receive one Bitcoin for every transaction they finalise.

As soon as the transaction between Pete and Mary is authorised by the miner, the “ledger” is updated by adding another block to the chain.

The question that then arises is why would hackers not just hack and authorise transactions for themselves? This is where the magic of blockchain technology comes in – the computing power required to solve the complex problem is so expensive, that is more costly to hack than to rather just act as miners themselves and earn Bitcoin. Therefore, no one needs to trust each other and the technology allows the users to trust the system.

It is this level of technology that will regulate the future, effectively eliminating the need for lawyers and banks. The concept is throwing governments across the globe into a state of panic as there is currently no proper regulation inbedded in current tax laws.

Like Da Vinci’s inventions, the technology is a little ahead of its time and the rest of the world needs some time catching up. It is therefore critical to keep an eye on further developments as this will impact the way business is done in future.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Being happy on International Day of Happiness!

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The Newtons Staff really brought on some smiles on International Day of Happiness on 20 March.

The guys rocked their red bow ties, the ladies bloomed with their yellow flowers and pledges were made to increase happiness.

To see what the story behind International Day of Happiness is about please follow the link to www.dayofhappiness.net