SARS has announced that the annual PAYE reconciliation submission season is closing on 31 May 2012.

The first step for companies is to ensure they download the latest version of the e@syFile Employer system from the SARS website SARS usually announces the required software version closer to the commencement of the filing season.

“It is critical that companies download and install this software before conducting their PAYE, SDL and UIF reconciliations to ensure accuracy and compliance with SARS requirements,” says Philip Meyer, technology director at payroll and HR software specialist Pastel Payroll, part of the Softline Group and Sage Group.

SARS launched e@syFile Version 6.0.1 on 25 April 2012. This version includes updates relating to login details and the importing of multiple files for the same PAYE number.

While SARS will not reject tax certificates that do not have an income tax number, the e@syFile Employer system will issue the submitting company a message declaring that penalties can be raised on the employer as a result of the missing information.

“Employers must confirm the company’s assent to the SARS penalties procedure before their companies can continue with reconciliation and submission,” says Meyer.

“SARS also intends increasing employer penalties applying to employee tax certificates that do not have a registered tax number. It therefore makes financial sense for companies to ensure that they register all unregistered employees with SARS before they submit tax certificates for reconciliation that starts in April.”

If companies want to register employees for a tax reference number, they can either go into a SARS branch, or they can log onto the e@syFile Employer system and load their employees manually. To follow the verification status of the tax reference number, companies can use the ITReg functionality of the e@syFile Employer system and follow a synchronisation process to obtain a CSV file with their employees’ tax reference numbers.

“Companies using an automated payroll software solution can obtain employee tax reference numbers via the Bulk ITREG functionality and the e@syFile Employer system to simplify the reconciliation. Those using automated payroll solutions need only capture employees’ information and their payslip details,” adds Meyer.

During the year-end procedures, the electronic tax certificates are generated automatically in the IRP5.12 file. This file can be imported directly into the e@syFile Employer system and the payroll EMP501 Reconciliation Report to complete the PAYE, SDL and UIF reconciliations. Meyer emphasises that this saves businesses considerable time and cost compared to manual calculation and capturing.

“Companies should also be aware that the bi-annual submission is completed for reconciliation purposes only, so payroll departments should not issue tax certificates to their employees until they receive notice from SARS that the reconciliation is both complete and correct,” says Meyer.