What's New? 

  • 25 June 2020 - ​FAQ published for COVID-19 SASSA grant applications being declined with
    a SARS reason
    Question - ​​I’m unemployed and applied for the COVID-19 grant at SASSA but it was declined with a response ‘Registered at SARS for PAYE’ or ‘Receiving an income’?

    Answer - It should be noted that SASSA determines the criteria for paying of the grant or not. According to SASSA, to qualify for the grant, you need to be unemployed (not having any source of income) and not receive UIF or any other grants. Should this not be correct, please email SASSA on [email protected] if any complaints.

  • 18 June 2020 - Updated PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2020 release) version 19.04
    In this version the descriptions of the source codes for the donations to the COVID19 Solidarity Fund has been amended, as well as the ETI fields to cater for additional ETI that may claimed as part of the COVID19 Tax Relief.
  • EMP201 deadline extension
    An extension for submissions of EMP201 is granted until midnight of 8 June 2020 due to problem on 5 June when the SARS system was down. Returns received after 5 June but before midnight 8 June 2020 will not incur any penalties or interest. Employers who could not file their EMP201s would not be able to complete the ETI on their returns and will have to submit a request to SARS to process the ETI on their behalf.

  • 1 June 2020 - Employers Filing season is now closed. It was open from 15 April to 31 May 2020. You may still submit, but please note that penalties may apply.

  • 18 May 2020 - [email protected] version 7.0.5 was released
    • Introducing an updated EMP201 declaration to incorporate Covid-19 changes in legislation for SDL
      payment holidays
    • Adjustment to validation for source codes 7002 and 7005 to align with the SARS PAYE BRS, allowing
      but not expecting a zero balance under specified circumstances.

  • 12 May 2020 - Employment Taxes Validation (ETV)
    From the 2020 year of assessment, SARS is performing tax calculations on the IRP5/IT3(a) certificates. Where it is found that the incorrect amount of tax was deducted from the employee, a letter will be issued, accompanied by a file containing a list of the certificates that have failed the SARS calculation.  

  • 25 April 2020 - FAQs for Employers on Tax Relief for COVID-19

  • 23 April 2020 - Updated PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2020 release) version 19.03 was published. 

    The PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2020 release) has been updated with the requirements for the COVID-19 Tax Relief to enable employers to claim the increase of the extended ETI, declare donations to the Solidarity Fund and payments received from UIF.

  • 22 April 2020 - PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2020 release) version 19.02 was published.
    The PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2020 release) was updated with the requirements for the COVID-19 Tax Relief for ETI to enable employers to calculate the extended ETI.

  • 17 April 2020 - Printing of IRP5/IT3(a) certificates
    We are aware that employers may be experiencing problems with the printing of IRP5/IT3(a) Employees’ Tax certificates from the eFiling platform. We recommend that you submit your Employer Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) to SARS but do not yet print any IRP5/IT3(a) certificates. We will inform you when printing of IRP5/IT3(a)s using the eFiling platform may resume.

  • 15 April 2020 - Employer Annual Reconciliation was open from 15 April and closed 31 May.

  • 3 April 2020 - Frequently Asked Questions on Tax Measures (will be updated on a regular basis)

  • 31 March 2020 - Updated PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2020 release) version 19.01 was published.

  • 4 September 2019 - Updated PAYE BRS for Employer Reconciliation (2019 release) version 18.05 was published.

Business Requirement Specifications (BRS) and timelines

​Business Requirement Specification
​       Year Applicable​                 Submission dates*​                       

​​BRS - PAYE Employer Reconciliation for 2020 /2021

​​2021 Annual Employer Reconciliation
(1 March 2020 - 28 February 2021)
Interim: 14 Sep – 31 Oct 2020
Annual: 15 Apr – 31 May 2021
BRS - PAYE Employer Reconciliation for 2019 / 2020 ​2020 Annual Employer Reconciliation
(1 March 2019 - 28 February 2020)
Interim: 23 Sep – 31 Oct 2019
Annual: 15 Apr – 31 May 2020
BRS - PAYE Employer Reconciliation for 2018 / 2019 ​2019 Annual Employer Reconciliation
(1 March 2018 - 28 February 2019)
Interim: 17 Sep - 31 Oct 2018
Annual: 1 Apr - 31 May 2019
BRS - PAYE Employer Reconciliation for 2017 / 2018 ​2018 Annual Employer Reconciliation
(1 March 2017 - 28 February 2018)
Interim: 15 Sep - 31 Oct 2017
Annual: 1 Apr - 31 May 2018 
BRS - PAYE Employer Reconciliation for 2016 /2017​  2017 Annual Employer Reconciliation
(1 March 2016 – 28 February 2017)
Interim: 12 Sep - 31 Oct 2016
Annual: 1 Apr - 31 May 2017

* The final submission periods are subject to business requirements / readiness and calendar working day dates. Final confirmation will be communicated at the time of the relevant submission period. 

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 PAYE. See How to register for PAYE on eFiling.
An employer who is registered or required to register with SARS for PAYE and/or Skills Development Levy (SDL) purposes, is also required to register with SARS for the payment of Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions to SARS. You can register once for all different tax types using the client information system.

Top Tip: The Employment Tax Incentive encourages employers to employ young workers by providing a tax incentive to the employers. Read more.  

Who is it for?

The amounts deducted or withheld must be paid by the employer to SARS on a monthly basis, by completing the Monthly Employer Declaration (EMP201). The EMP201 is a payment declaration in which the employer declares the total payment together with the allocations for PAYE, SDL, UIF and/or Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), if applicable. A unique Payment Reference Number (PRN) will be pre-populated on the EMP201, and will be used to link the actual payment with the relevant EMP201 payment declaration.

How and when should it be paid?

It must be paid within seven days after the end of the month during which the amount was deducted. If the last day for payment falls on a public holiday or weekend, the payment must be made on the last business day before the public holiday or weekend.
The following payment methods are available:
  • eFiling
  • Electronic payments (EFT)
  • Payments at a bank: All payments can be made at any ABSA, Capitec, FNB, Nedbank or Standard Bank branch.
  • Manual forms of payments will no longer be accepted by SARS. Cheques posted / delivered to SARS will be returned to the client.

Note: Please note that these changes exclude Customs.


Employers who pay, or are likely to pay Employees’ Tax exceeding R10 million in any 12-month period, must submit Employees’ Tax declarations and make payments electronically.

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 Top FAQs

While downloading the latest version of the easyFile™ Employer, my anti-virus identified a virus and deleted any [email protected]™ Employer files already installed. Is there a virus on [email protected]™ Employer?
No, easyFile™ Employer is not infected by a virus. Make sure you have set your anti-virus to accept [email protected]™ Employer.

​I get a 'duplicate' status on reconciliation when there are no changes in the figures declared on the EMP501on [email protected]?
A reconciliation consists of multiple documents which can include a combination of the EMP501, IRP5/IT3(a) and EMP601. Updates made on these documents may or may not affect the figures declared on the EMP501.

Is it possible to increase your ETI liability or utilised amounts from what was initially declared?
No, you are not allowed to increase your ETI liability or utilised amounts from what you initially declared. This is according to legislation.

What to do if the EMP501 reconciliation was submitted for the incorrect period?
If you have submitted your 201608 EMP501 reconciliation, but you selected the 201702 period by mistake, the system will not allow you to capture and submit any EMP201 returns for the months of September 2016 to February 2017.

Will the system allow a person to claim backdated ETI in recons prior to 1 March 2017?
From 1 March 2017 the employer cannot claim backdated claims for periods prior to 1 March 2017. The last month available to the employer to make that claim was February 2017 EMP201 return.