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Paying Salaries: What Can Go Wrong?

South African businesses face unique payroll challenges. From strict regulatory requirements to the specific needs of a diverse workforce, managing payroll requires precision, understanding, and the right approach. Here are some critical payroll mistakes businesses often encounter and our expert advice on how to avoid them:

Misclassifying employees

In South Africa, the distinction between independent contractors and full-time employees is significant, affecting everything from tax obligations to benefits. Misclassification can lead to penalties from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and disputes with employees. Ensure you’re familiar with the definitions and classifications as per labour laws and classify your employees correctly from the start.

Incorrect calculation of hours and overtime

South African labour laws are specific about working hours, overtime pay, and compensations for public holidays and Sundays. Implementing robust HR software that caters to these standards can help manage calculations accurately, ensuring compliance and employee satisfaction.

Miscalculating pay

With tax considerations, UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) contributions, and other statutory deductions, payroll calculations can become complex. Leveraging payroll management software that’s tailored for South African businesses can automate these processes, reducing errors and saving time.

Maintaining incomplete or disorganised records

South African law requires businesses to keep payroll records for a minimum of five years. These records must be detailed, accurate, and readily available for inspection. Digital record-keeping systems can help ensure that your payroll records are organised and compliant with regulations.

Overlooking taxable employee compensation

All forms of compensation, including bonuses, allowances, and fringe benefits, are taxable under South African law and must be accurately reported to SARS. It’s crucial to understand what constitutes taxable compensation and to ensure that it’s correctly processed in your payroll system to avoid penalties.

Missing important deadlines

Timely submissions of PAYE (Pay As You Earn), UIF, and SDL (Skills Development Levy) declarations and payments are critical. Businesses must adhere to SARS deadlines to avoid interest and penalties. Keeping a detailed calendar of all payroll-related deadlines can help ensure compliance.

We specialise in providing tailored payroll solutions that meet the specific needs of South African businesses. Our team of experts is well-versed in local regulations and dedicated to helping you manage your payroll efficiently, accurately, and compliantly.

Whether you need assistance with employee classification, payroll calculations, record-keeping, or meeting SARS deadlines, we are here to support your business. Contact us today to find out more about our services and how we can assist you with your payroll challenges.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.  Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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