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10 May 2021 – Tax Directives: Updated IBIR-006 Specification
SARS will implement changes to the Tax Directives interface between now and 21 May. Please refer to the updated IBIR-006 revision 6.105 Interface Specification to familiarise yourself with the coming enhancements.
You are encouraged to review the document prior to testing.
- 26 April 2021 – Changes to the transfer between Funds and preservation funds
The Guide on how to complete, submit and cancel a recognition of transfer was updated with additional fields for the annuitisation of Provident and Provident preservation Funds and with the additional fields for the second transfers of public sector benefits to another approved fund. The purpose of this guide is to provide guidance on the use and submission of the recognition of transfer form (ROT01) for transfers between Funds and preservation funds; and the recognition of the purchase of an annuity form (ROT02) when annuities are purchased on retirement, the beneficiary purchase an annuity upon the death of the member or annuitant or transfer to / between Long-term Insurers. For more information. see the Guide on how to complete, submit and cancel a recognition of transfer.
- 26 April 2021 – Tax Directive changes:
The Guide on Tax Directive for emigration, cease to be resident and expiry of visas was updated to include the definitions of ‘provident fund’ and ‘provident preservation fund’ were amended for the annuitisation of benefits on retirement. The purpose of this guide is to provide basic information relating to the tax directive applications for emigration withdrawals and withdrawals due to the expiry of a visa. For more information, see the Guide on Tax Directive for emigration, cease to be resident and expiry of visas.
The Guide to the Tax Directive functionality on eFiling was updated with the Tax Directive functionality to request previous years’ tax directives. This guide is designed to assist Fund Administrators / Long-term Insurers / Employers / Tax Practitioners and/or Individuals with the Tax Directive administrative functions on eFiling. For more information, see the Guide to the Tax Directive functionality on eFiling.
The completion guide for IRP3(a) & IRP3(s) forms was updated with the Arbitration / CCMA Award filed and the ‘Year of assessment’ on directive and tax certificate was clarified. The purpose of this guide is to assist employers with the completion of a Tax Directive Application form to obtain a Tax Directive (IRP3) before a lump sum can be paid to an employee. In addition, the Guide to complete the tax directive application forms was updated with the Provident and Provident Preservation funds compulsory annuitisation and with the following new reasons on the tax directive application forms:
- Par (eA) Living Annuity Commutation Termination of a Trust (Form E);
- Cessation of SA Residence (Form B and Form C)
- Unclaimed death benefits (Form A&D)
The purpose of this guide is to assist Fund Administrators / Long-term Insurers and / or employers on how to complete all of the various tax directive application forms in order to obtain a tax directive (IRP3) before a lump sum benefit can be paid to a member. For more information, see the Completion guide for IRP3(a) & IRP3(s) forms.
- 16 April 2021 – Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) please note the changes stated in the Tax Directives Interface Specification (IBIR-006 Rev 6.104) will go-live on 23 April 2021. No Directive files should be submitted after 14:00 on 23 April 2021.
- 11 December 2020 – Trade Testing and Go-live date
SARS will introduce enhancements to the Tax Directives process as indicated in the IBIR-006 Tax Directives Interface Specification Version 6.103. The Trade Testing dates will be communicated in January 2021. This is necessary to prepare for the go-live date planned within the first quarter of the 2021/2022 Financial Year.
You are encouraged to review the Tax Directives Interface Specification prior to testing.
- 26 October 2020 – Enhancements to the Tax Directive functionality on eFiling
The tax directive functionality on eFiling has been enhanced to allow individuals and tax practitioners to apply for a tax directive on behalf of their clients. The tax directives applications that individuals and tax practitioners may request on behalf of clients are for:
- IRP 3(b) – Employee’s tax to be deducted at a fixed percentage (e.g. commission agents / personal service company / personal service trust).
- IRP 3(c) – Employee’s tax to be deducted at a fixed amount (e.g. Paragraph 11 of the 4th Schedule (hardship) / assessed loss carried forward).
- IRP 3(f) – Doubtful Debts 11(j)(1)(2) – Only available for tax practitioners.
- IRP 3(q) – Foreign Tax Credit under paragraph of 10 of the 4th Schedule of Income Tax Act – Only available for tax practitioners.
- 22 June 2020 – Tax Directives Go-Live date:
SARS introduced enhancements to the Tax Directives system on 19 June 2020, as per the Interface Specification IBIR-006 Tax Directives version 6.005. The high level overview of the changes that have been introduced are in respect of the Foreign Tax Credit (IRP3q) – Par 10 of the 4th Schedule and Provision for Doubtful Debtors (IRP3f) – Section 11(j)I of the Income Tax Act.
These changes enable stakeholders to:
- Submit applications electronically
- Attach supporting documents electronically
- Send an electronic directive to the applicant.
For any queries, you may call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.
12 June 2020 – ISV Platform:
ISVs please note the changes stated in the IBR006 version 6.005 specification will go-live on 19 June 2020. In preparation for the go-live the test environment will not be available from Monday, 15 June 2020 until Wednesday, 17 June 2020. No Directive files should be submitted after 15:00 on 19 June 2020.
- 12 June 2020 – eFiling Clients:
All Clients to be informed that the changes stated in the Directives Business Specifications IBR006 version 6.005 will go-live on 19 June 2020.
- 15 May 2020 – Go-live date to be communicated
Please note that SARS will communicate the go-live date for the changes stated in the IBR006 version 6.005 specification in early June 2020. You are reminded and encouraged to participate in the Trade Testing from 18 May 2020 that you were invited to in the notification published on 2 April 2020.
- 11 May 2020 – Living Annuity Commutation
The current minimum values of annuity or part of the retirement interest which an individual can commute is the amount of R50 000, in the event that there was a previous lump sum commutation in the fund or R75 000 in any other case. These values have now been replaced with a single threshold of R125 000. The system has been updated to allow the member to commute the living annuity where the value is equal to or less than the new de-minimus amount of R125 000 for the directive reason ‘Par. (c) Living Annuity Commutation’.
- 5 May 2020 – The updated Interface Specification IBIR-006 Tax Directives version 6.005 was published.
- 22 April 2020 – Tax Directives has been a separate service on eFiling whereby the Pension / Provident Fund Administrator or Employer with an eFiling Organisation website profile completes different forms to apply for a tax calculation on a lump sum payable to clients on retirement or resignation. The latest enhancement will allow Tax Practitioners and Individuals to electronically apply for IRP3(b) and IRP3(c) Tax Directives through their efiling profiles rather than having to resort to going into a SARS Branch Office for a manual application which is performed directly on ITS. In other words, Individual Taxpayers and Tax Practitioners can now submit the IRP3(b) and IRP3(c) application form through eFiling. IRP3(b) and IRP3(c) hardcopy applications will no longer be processed.
What is the purpose of a tax directive for lump sums?
The purpose of a tax directive is to enable SARS to instruct an Employer, Fund Administrator or Insurer how to deduct employees’ tax from certain lump sums to a taxpayer or member.
ONLY Employers, Fund Administrators and Insurers can request a tax directive from SARS via the following channels:
- eFiling – Employers and Fund Administrators who have an organisation profile can log in and request a directive online.
- Register as an Interface agent. (Refer to the Tax Directive Interface specification)
- In exceptional cases use the email address. The required supporting documents and reason why the lump sum tax directive cannot be submitted through the above channels must be provided.
Tax calculations according to the tax directive should be regarded merely as an estimate according to the information on SARS tax directive system. Some employees may find that they still have to pay in substantial amounts or that a credit may be due to them once the final liability has been determined on assessment in accordance with the date of accrual.
The Employer / Fund Administrator / Insurer must ensure that the correct application form is used according to the reason for the exit from the fund / employer’s service and the nature of the amount payable to the employee / member of the fund.
What is the purpose of a hardship directive?
Here is a complete list of applications forms available:
- IRP3(a) – Gratuities paid by employer (e.g. death / retirement / retirement due to ill health / retrenchment / other – to supply reason for payment).
- IRP 3(b) – Employees’ tax to be deducted at a fixed percentage (e.g. commission agents / personal service company / personal service trust). Can only be submitted via eFiling by an individual or tax practitioner
- IRP 3(c) – Employees’ tax to be deducted at a fixed amount (e.g. Paragraph 11 of the 4th Schedule (hardship) / assessed loss carried forward). Can only be submitted via eFiling by an individual or tax practitioner.
- IRP 3(d) – Decommissioned.
- IRP3(s) – Employees’ tax to be deducted on any amount to be included under section 8A or 8C of the Income Tax Act.
- IPR3(f) – Doubtful Debts 11(j)(1)(2). Can only be submitted via eFiling.
- IRP3(q) – Foreign Tax Credit under paragraph 10 of the 4th Schedule to the Income Tax Act. Can only be submitted via eFiling.
- Form A&D – Lump sums paid by pension, pension preservation fund, provident or provident preservation fund. (e.g. death before retirement / retirement due to ill health / retirement / provident fund – deemed retirement).
- Form B – Lump sums paid by pension or provident fund (e.g. resignation / withdrawal / winding up / transfer / Section 1, Paragraph (eA) of the definition of gross income transfer or payment / future surplus / unclaimed benefit / divorce – transfer, divorce – non-member spouse / divorce – member spouse / housing loan / involuntary termination of employment (retrenchment) including withdrawals from a pension preservation or provident preservation fund).
- Form C – Lump sums paid by a RAF to a member (e.g. death before retirement / retirement due to ill health / retirement / transfer from one RAF to another / discontinued contributions / future surplus / divorce – transfer, divorce – non-member spouse / divorce – member spouse / emigration withdrawal / visa expiry).
- Form E – Lump sums paid after retirement by an insurer or a fund (e.g. Death Member / Former Member after Retirement, Par. (c) Living Annuity Commutation, Death – Next Generation Annuitant, Next Generation Annuitant Commutation and Transfer of an annuity to another insurer).
- ROT01 – Recognition of transfer between two funds before retirement must be used where a benefit was transferred to another approved fund.
- ROT02 – Recognition of GN18 purchase of a member / beneficiary owned pension / annuity from an insurer must be used to acknowledge the purchase of annuities.
Employers, Fund Administrators or Insurers can submit the application forms electronically via an interface agent or register on SARS eFiling. Only in exceptional cases where the tax directive application form cannot be processed successfully through any of the electronic platforms can the hard copy tax directive application form be emailed to only one of the email addresses on the SARS website. IRP3(b) and IRP3(c) hard copy applications will no longer be submitted through email.
Minimum information required on the application form:
To avoid a delay in the issuing of a directive, the following crucial minimum information is required on all the tax directive application forms:
- Tax year;
- Personal detail of the employee / member of the fund, such as:
- Surname and full names;
- Date of birth and ID number or other unique number (e.g. passport number, work permit number or non-resident identity number);
- Annual income (e.g. annual equivalent of current tax year’s income or the total remuneration for the last 12 months);
- Physical address and postal code; and
- Postal address and postal code;
- Income tax reference number [if the income tax reference number was not entered, the reason for non-registration (e.g. unemployed) must be supplied];
- Name of employer, fund or insurer;
- Postal address and postal code of employer / fund / insurer; and
- Reason for directive (the relevant reason must be marked on the application form).
For more detailed information required on the Form A & D / B / C / E application forms:
- Refer to the IT-AE-41-G02 – Guide to Complete the Tax Directive Application Forms for information required per application form.
Minimum information required on the IRP 3(a) / (b) / (c) / (s) application forms:
- The PAYE number of the employer;
- Date of accrual; and
- Gross amount of lump sum payment or Gross value of gain / amount.
IRP 3(c) is submitted to SARS to consider alleviating hardship due to circumstance outside the control of the taxpayer, the taxpayer must provide reasons and where possible attached supporting documents assure SARS that the situation is outside his / her control and has caused financial hardship. Cases will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine whether the taxpayer qualifies for a hardship tax directive under these circumstances.
Refer to the IT-AE-41-G01 – Completion Guide for IRP3a and IRP3s Form – External Guide for more detailed information required per application form.
- A tax directive is only valid for the tax year or period stated therein.
- Employers may decline to accept photocopies of directives.
- Employers may under no circumstances deviate from the instructions of the directive.
- Tax directives issued to electronic clients via the SARS Interface are valid directives.
- Employers must apply the percentage of employees’ tax as indicated in the directive prior to taking into account allowable deductions for employees’ tax purposes (e.g. pension, retirement annuity fund contributions, etc.). Where the employer received a directive and the employee’s commission income is not more than 50% of the gross remuneration income the employer can ignore the directive instruction.
- From an eFiling perspective, Tax Directive applications submitted before 1 July 2017 can be viewed, cancelled and printed under ‘Tax Directives –prior to 2017’ in the left hand menu on eFiling.
- Electronic confirmation of receipt: From July 2017 the receiving fund of the transferred benefit or the Insurer where the annuity was purchased must electronically confirm the receipt of the transferred benefit or benefit transferred to purchase an annuity. If the receiving fund cannot submit the Part B of the ROT electronically, the transferring fund is responsible to submit the manual comprehensive ROT (Part A and Part B) to SARS.
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