Knowing your submissions – EMP501s

Pharsyde is doing a series of blog posts designed specifically to raise awareness with regards to common statutory

Pharsyde is doing a series of blog posts designed specifically to raise awareness with regards to statutory submissions. Business ownership overs a wide-range and long list of responsibilities and it is not uncommon for a small business owner to be unaware of the extent of his legal requirements. These posts cover the common statutory submissions: what they are, why they exist and when they are due. If you need more detail about a specific submission or help in getting it right, please give us a shout – we would be happy to go through them in detail with you.

The EMP501 is not really a return, it is a reconciliation. The purpose of this submission is for you and SARS to double check that you have paid the correct amount over to them for PAYE, SDL and UIF. It is also how you create IRP5s and how you submit them to SARS.

It is submitted twice a year: October and May. October covers the six month period of March to August and the May submission will cover the entire tax year, March to February. And while it is only in the May submission in which you will generate and submit IRP5s for your employees, you will still need the exact same information for both submissions.

If you are using an electronic payroll system, then the submission is fairly straightforward. You should be able to export your IRP5 information from your payroll and import it into SARS E@syFile. You then use E@syFile to connect to SARS eFiling to pull the info from your submitted EMP returns.

E@syFile then compares the information from your payroll with the information on eFiling and lets you know if they match. (Obviously, the aim when doing this reconciliation is to have a zero difference!) This comparison is then submitted to SARS.

There are no late penalties for not filing an EMP501 on time, but not doing so is actually illegal. So it is advisable to make sure that you submit by the 31st of October and 31st of May every year. You can read the SARS explanation of the EMP501 here, find their step-by-step guide here, or read SimplePay‘s very nice full explanation here.

Over it? Want some help with payroll and PAYE? Give us a shout!

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