SARS warns employers

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

Submit your payroll records or face heavy penalties, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) has warned employers.

Sars says though employers have until next week Friday to submit payroll information, only 42400 of them have so far submitted a reconciliation declaration (EMP 501 form) along with 2,5million employee tax certificates (IRP5/IT3(a)).

The EMP 501 document is a reconciliation of taxes deducted from employees' salaries (PAYE), payments made to Sars on behalf of employees and tax certificate information.

Sars commissioner Pravin Gordhan says noncompliant employers will make it difficult for their workers to submit completed income tax returns when the filing period for individuals opens at the beginning of next month.

This is because Sars will for the first time issue employees with pre-populated tax returns that already contain their information.

"New emphasis is being placed on the information supplied by employers to Sars in respect of PAYE deducted from employees," he says.

This year employers will be required to meticulously submit records that will ensure that Sars has accurate information about their employees.

Without a reconciled declaration by employers to Sars, Gordhan says, it will be difficult for employees to begin filing.

He says many employers have not yet complied with the legal requirement to submit their declarations within a 60 day period that started at the beginning of last month.

"We urgently appeal to all employers to submit their payroll records to Sars as soon as possible," Gordan says.

The PAYE information from employers will be used by Sars to ensure that income tax returns for certain categories of individuals is pre-populated, individual information is verified or matched and that employees receive their tax certificates on time.

The Sars national call centre - 0860 12 12 18 - is available for any enquiries from employers and individuals.