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Friday is D-Day for SARS

All SA companies need to submit their SARS annual reconciliation by 31 May.

Alison Job

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The first step companies should take is to download the latest version of the e@syFile Employer system from the SARS website.

 Companies need to ensure that they provide SARS with their annual PAYE reconciliation submission before the end of May.

“It’s important 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 Sage Pastel Payroll & HR.

Penalties for missing information

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.

Meyer stresses that employers must confirm that the company will comply with the SARS penalties procedure before their companies are able to continue with their reconciliation and submission.

“SARS has also increased employer penalties applying to employee tax certificates that do not have a registered tax number. So it makes financial sense for companies to ensure that they register all unregistered employees with SARS before they submit tax certificates for reconciliation.

“Even employees that are below the tax threshold need a registered tax number,” adds Meyer.

Getting a tax number for staff

Companies wanting to register employees for a tax reference number can either go into a SARS branch, or 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.

“However, 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 IRP5.13 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 points out that this saves businesses considerable time and cost compared to manual calculation and capturing.

“Payroll departments should not issue tax certificates to their employees until they receive notice from SARS that the reconciliation is both complete and correct.”

Alison Job holds a BA English, Communications and has extensive experience in writing that spans news broadcasting, public relations and corporate and consumer publishing. Find her at Google+.

Entrepreneur Today

5 Ways SMMEs Can Best Use An Incubation Centre

Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can make the most of these incubation centres.

Entrepreneur

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Incubation centres play a meaningful role – not only in South Africa but around the world – as they groom SMMEs and give them access to opportunities that will help them survive in a competitive marketplace. These centres help entrepreneurs modernise their businesses with world-class technology, while providing insights that can help turn ideas into products. Incubation centres offer infrastructure and support, knowledge-sharing and a unique environment that helps strengthen their businesses.

Earlier this month, Cisco South Africa launched its R10 million Edge Incubation Centre in Pretoria where 30 SMMEs per year will have the opportunity to make use of the platform and speed up their entry to market. The centre gives SMMEs access to complete business facilities including workspaces, video conferencing and collaboration platforms, boardroom and training facilities, and access to global Cisco experts who can help them develop business ideas in a digital world.

Here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can make the most of these incubation centres:

1. Collaboration

Gain insights from global experts using the latest Webex technology and collaborate with other SMMEs. Utilise the meeting spaces to drive commercial sales initiatives with the help of business support facilities.

2. Resources & Equipment

Make use of laboratories and tools like cloud-based facilities, smart interactive whiteboards for content sharing, video conferencing, and meeting rooms. Utilise the high-tech customer demo centre as a practice platform.

Related: The Definitive List Of South African Business Incubators For Start-Ups

3. Support

Take advantage of the enablement programmes as well as the ongoing training and development. Knowledge transfer will always help your business. Utilise the technical support and business insights to grow your business and make it competitive in the digital economy.

4. Connectivity

This is your main tool in a digital marketplace. Make use of the high-speed broadband facilities and develop your digital skills because you will need it.

5. Sales

Don’t forget to utilise the pre-sales support as this may give you the edge in the marketplace. Gain insights and experience and use it to your advantage.

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Entrepreneur Today

9 In 10 Workers Want A Festive Gift From Their Employer To Make Them Feel Valued

29% Would like to receive vouchers from their company.

Entrepreneur

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As the festive season approaches, digital print company instantprint have revealed what managers can be doing to show staff they are appreciated.

Over 9 in 10 workers (94%) want a gift from their employers to make them feel valued, appreciated and happy this Christmas.

The research, which surveyed 1,500 UK office workers, also revealed the most in demand gifts that employees would like to receive from their employers:

  • 29% would like a gift voucher
  • 8% would like an early finish
  • One in five (20%) would like a free bar at the company Christmas party
  • One in ten (10.3%) would like a physical gift
  • 7% would like a charitable donation to be made in their name.

Related: Why Innovative Employee Benefits Are Your Competitive Advantage

Different sections of the workforce had varying demands. IT professionals would prefer an early finish this festive period, with 35% in the IT department choosing this as their ideal Christmas gift.

Senior management seem to have a more selfless approach to the gifts they would like to receive. One in ten (11%) said they would like a charitable donation to be made in their name, compared to the average demand for this present of just 7%.

There was some difference between men and women too. Women are the ones really pressing for gift vouchers, with 33% saying they are the ideal present, compared to just 23% of men. Male employees seem to prefer a free bar, with 22% choosing this, compared to just 18% of women.

James Kinsella, CEO and Co-founder of instantprint, said about the research:

“Most organisation take part in the festive period, with decorations, Christmas parties and office Secret Santas.

“But this research highlights how important a small show of gratitude can be for your workforce. Something as simple as an early finish, free bar at a party or a Christmas gift voucher can make employees feel valued and appreciated. This in turn can help boost employee morale, loyalty and productivity in the workplace.”

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Entrepreneur Today

South African Students To Battle In Universities Business Challenge To Win Up To R50 000

Students will compete in a simulation that encourages business skills.

Entrepreneur

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Cognity Advisory’s Universities Business Challenge (UBC), sponsored by General Electric (GE), launched in July this year, has seen 500 students from 13 different universities across South Africa participate in a business simulation competition, that’s designed to develop their entrepreneurship skills. The challenge is now down to just 10 teams from five different universities (approximately 50 students), who will travel to Johannesburg to compete in the two-day final event on the 5 and 6th December 2018.

The ten teams competing in the final includes three teams from the North West University, two from Mangosuthu University of Technology, two from the Vaal University of Technology, two from the University of Limpopo and one from The University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN). These teams will be competing for the chance to win up to R50,000.

Related: Call For Applications: Young Entrepreneurs Global Exposure Trips

The aim of the UBC, now in its second year in South Africa and 20th year globally, is to tackle South Africa’s high level of youth unemployment. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced that South Africa’s official unemployment rate increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5% in the third quarter of 2018.

The competition simulates a business environment, with students given a problem to solve. The simulation is designed to foster skills such as analytical thinking, problem solving, commercial awareness and team-working. The challenge is designed to empower young people and equip them with the necessary skills to succeed in business.

Tope Toogun, development advisor and CEO of Cognity Advisory says, “Students are very prepared in terms of theory when they leave university, but not the practical skills they need to start and run a business. Seeing as SMEs make up 90 percent of formal businesses it’s really important that these students know how to build a business on their own or at the very least, in small teams.”

Toogun explains how the simulation encourages business skills, “The students competing in the challenge learn all about managing people, customer service, working in teams and how to create a start up without even realising they are being exposed to all these skills. These are the skills that will separate the members in the final. Students must work as a team and make instinctive decisions.”

Cognity Advisory is engaging students through social media competitions and newsletter updates. These competitions include spot prizes for students who post an image or video and receive the highest engagement on it.

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