PAYE-AS-YOU-EARN (PAYE) PENALTIES

What is it?

Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) penalties are imposed on employers in terms of the Fourth Schedule to the Income Tax Act of 1962 [the Act], read with Chapter 15 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 [TAAct], where there is non-compliance with regard to an employer’s obligations.
 
The non-compliance in question can include:
  • Non-submission of an Employer Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) on or before the due dates
  • Failure to submit IRP5 or IT3(a) Employee’s tax certificates (i.e. missing IRP5/IT3(a)s)
  • Submission of incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate data relating to the IRP5/IT3(a)s, even where the EMP501 has been submitted on time
  • Late payment of Employees’ Tax.

Who is it for?

Where non-compliance penalties are imposed (in other words, for employers who fail to submit their reconciliation return by the due date, or submit incomplete returns) employers will be subject to a percentage-based penalty which for each month that the employer continues to fail to remedy the non-submission. In total, the penalty may not exceed 10% of the total amount of Employees’ Tax deducted or withheld (or which should have been deducted or withheld) by the employer during the year.
 
Late payment penalties are levied as a once-off charge of 10% of the tax that should have been paid by the due date.

How and when should it be paid?

In accordance with section 214 of the TAAct, a penalty is due upon assessment and must be paid on or before the date for payment stated in the notice of the penalty assessment [AP34]. The payment due date will be stipulated on the AP34 notice issued to the employer.
 
The following payment methods are available:
  • eFiling
  • Electronically using the internet
  • At a branch of one of the relevant banking institutions (ABSA, FNB, Nedbank or Standard Bank), cheque payments may not exceed R500 000. This limit applies irrespective of the number of tax periods being paid, or should multiple cheque payments be made.
  • At a specific SARS branch, cheque payments may not exceed R100 000. This limit applies irrespective of the number of tax periods being paid, or should multiple cheque payments be made.

DISPUTES

An employer who is aggrieved by the penalties imposed may dispute this in accordance with section 215 of the TAAct. Such dispute can be made on a Request for Remission form [RFR]. The RFR may be obtained from:
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