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What’s New?

  • 9 September 2021Changes for Interim Reconciliation 2021 starting 13 September 2021
  • 1 June 2021 – Employers Filing season is now closed. It was open from 1 April to 31 May 2021. You may still submit, but please note that penalties may apply.
  • 6 May 2021 – Updated PAYE BRS Employer Reconciliation version 20.0
  • 6 May 2021 – [email protected] version 7.1.1 was released
  • 3 May 2021 – EMP501 Reconciliation Tutorial Video:  Watch our helpful tutorial video on the SARS YouTube channel on how to submit your EMP501 by clicking on the image below.
  • 15 March 2021 – Employer Annual Reconciliation: 1 April 2021 to 31 May 2021
    SARS constantly strives to improve its service offering to taxpayers. Changes introduced to SARS’ systems are a vital part of our vision to have a more accurate reconciliation process.  Correct information submitted on time to SARS leads to a seamless tax experience for both employees and employers. For more information, please read the letter to our stakeholders.
  • 8 March 2021 – Preparation for annual Employers Filing Season
    SARS calls on employers to ensure that they are ready to submit their annual reconciliation declarations with the latest and most accurate payroll information about their employees and the tax they have deducted. The data that must be submitted to SARS from employers should cover the Monthly Employer Declarations submitted, payments made and Tax Certificates (IRP5/IT3) (a)s generated, covering the full tax year from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021.

    Employers have from 1 April 2021 to 31 May 2021 to submit their data to SARS.

What is Reconciliation?

It involves an employer submitting an accurate Employer Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501), Employee Tax Certificates [IRP5/IT3(a)s] to be issued and if applicable, a Tax Certificate Cancellation Declaration (EMP601).

The three elements that must reconcile in order for your submission to be successful are the:

  • Monthly Employer Declarations (EMP201s) submitted [Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and/or Skills Development Levy (SDL), Unemployment Insurance Contributions (UIC) amounts due and Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), if applicable]
  • Payments made (excluding penalty and interest payments)
  • IRP5/IT3(a)s generated – PAYE, SDL and UIC values.

Who is it for?

Employers need to submit their reconciliation by the date published in the Government Gazette.

When and how should submissions be made?

Reconciliation declarations should be submitted twice during year of assessment, for the:
  • Interim period – which is for the six month period 1 March to 31 August
  • Annual period – which if for the full year 1 March to 28/29 February.

The Business Requirement Specification (BRS) defines the data submission requirements for the tax certificates [IRP5/IT3(a)s],  and the reconciliation for PAYE, SDL, UIC and/or ETI, if applicable.

Business Requirement Specifications (BRS) and timelines

​Business Requirement Specification
​       Year Applicable​                 Submission dates*​
BRS – PAYE Employer Reconciliation for 2021 / 20222022 Annual Employer Reconciliation
(1 March 2021 – 28 February 2022)
Interim: 13 Sep – 31 Oct 2021
Annual: 1 Apr – 31 May 2022
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 / 20202020 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. 

Completing your reconciliation online is the quickest, easiest and most convenient option. You can use either:

Copies of all declarations submitted and related supporting documents (relevant material) must be kept for five years.
Top Tip: Should your submission not balance across the three elements [EMP201, payments submitted and
IRP5/IT3(a)s)], we will alert you by letter.

Don’t forget the following important details:

1. Make sure you have the latest version of [email protected]™ Employer available.
2. Import the electronic Employee Tax Certificates [IRP5/IT3(a)s] CSV files from your current payroll system.
3. Reconcile your EMP501 –
  • Capture all additional manual IRP5/IT3(a)s, and [email protected]™ Employer will use the information, from all the tax certificates, to automatically calculate the certificate totals for your EMP501.
4. Manually completed Payroll Tax, posted, are no longer accepted.
These forms include:
  • Monthly Employer Declaration (EMP201)
  • Employer Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501)
  • IRP5/IT3(a)s
  • Tax Certificate Cancellation Declaration (EMP601)
  • Reconciliation Declaration Adjustment (EMP701).

Top Tip: An exception is made for employers with a maximum of five IRP5/IT3(a)s. The employer can still go into a SARS branch where an agent will help them capture these IRP5/IT3(a)s and the EMP501.

These electronic channels are free, convenient and available 24/7.

5. Make sure your reconciliation submission balances.
  • The EMP501 must reconcile to your EMP201s, which should have been submitted during the period (giving you a chance to correct this, where needed).
  • The EMP201s must reconcile to payments made for the period.
  • The EMP201 payments must reconcile to your IRP5/IT3(a)s generated.

Top Tip: Experiencing problems due to duplicate or incomplete EMP501 submissions made on [email protected]™ Employer, read more here.

6. Send your reconciliation before the deadline to avoid penalties and interest being charged.

When an audit is done internally by SARS on the EMP501, and PAYE liability is amended thereby, the employer is required to re-submit the EMP501 in accordance with the audit result on the assessment (EMP217).
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