Tag Archive: Pastel


The Tax Season commenced on 01 July 2012. Taxpayers can now submit their IT12 Returns for 2012. To avoid fines or penalties, individuals need to file their tax returns within the SARS deadlines, for the period 01 March 2011 to 29 February 2012.

Submission Deadlines

Please take note of the submission deadlines below:

•Manual returns have to be posted or delivered to local SARS branches by 28 September 2012.

•Non-provisional taxpayers may use SARS eFiling until 23 November 2012.

•Provisional taxpayers have more time and may submit electronic returns via eFiling until 31 January next year.

 

Tax Return Guide 

Visit www.sars.gov.za  to obtain the 2012 Tax Season electronic guide to help with submitting your IT12 Returns.

Help-You-eFile

A Help-You-eFile service will also soon be launched by SARS. The Help-You-eFile service is an innovation that will provide taxpayers with access to contact centre agents while the taxpayer is online. SARS Agents are able to see what taxpayers are doing and assist with the completion of the tax return. SARS has also embraced mobile technology and this year individuals with mobile devices will also be able to file their returns through the new SARS eFiling mobisite (sarsefiling.mobi) or a soon-to-be-launched eFiling application for people on the move using smartphones or tablets.

SARS is also enabling taxpayers to view eFiling videos on YouTube demonstrating how to register for eFiling, complete and submit the IRT12 tax form, accompanied by supporting documents if these are required. SARS has said that eFilers will receive their ITA34 assessment and statement of account within a few minutes of submitting the return.

 

eFiling

e@syFile™ Employer version 6.0.4 is available to download from www.sars.gov.za. An updated security certificate is included in this release to ensure successful installation. There are no additional changes in functionality.

Taxpayers who may have forgotten their eFiling login or password will be able to request their login name and reset their password from the login page

 

Find out more from www.pastelpayroll.co.za

BEE for SMEs (part 2 of 2)

By Saul Symanowitz: Divisional Director, BEE 123 by Pastel

Saul Symanowitz

SMEs and BEE

Whilst there is no universal definition for what constitutes an SME (Small and Micro Enterprise),for BEE  purposes most SMEs would be classified as EMEs (businesses with a turnover of below R5 mil pa) or QSEs (businesses with a turnover of a turnover of between R5 mil and R35 mil pa).

BEE for EMEs

As mentioned EMEs are exempt from the provisions of BEE and are automatically deemed to be BEE compliant.

EMEs therefore can continue to operate as they always have, with the status quo of their businesses remaining in place. No adjustments at all are necessary, and EMEs can therefore focus on the business of doing business and not BEE

The only thing EMEs will need to do for BEE purpose is obtain an EME BEE certificate, which is a quick and relatively cheap process. Once they have this certificate, they are able to reap the full benefits of being BEE compliant.

BEE for QSEs

As mentioned, QSEs are only measured against four of the seven BEE elements with each counting 25 points. What this means is that QSEs get to choose the four elements that make it easiest to get a really good BEE score in terms of their particular structure and requirements. Or alternatively viewed, they can quite validly leave out the three BEE elements they do not wish to engage with.

In my view, government has taken a very practical approach to how BEE is applied to QSEs, having taken into consideration the very real challenge of business survival and that many QSEs are in fact, family owned businesses.

So, how does a QSE business know which are the best four factors for its BEE scorecard?  Lets unpack each of the seven elements and see…

Ownership

Ownership measures equity held by black people in the business. For black owned businesses, this element will definitely be one of the four selected but for most white owned businesses it needn’t necessarily be a priority factor.

If you do select Ownership, it’s important to consider your structure. For QSEs, no additional points are allocated for black female owners but under the generic scorecard for larger businesses they are. So, if it’s possible, QSEs should structure their equity transactions in line with the requirements of the generic scorecard, so that no restructuring is needed in the future.

Management Control

This refers to black participation in top management. While a single appointee at this level can often have a significant effect on a BEE score, such appointments must be legitimate. Don’t forget that fronting may be criminalised under the current draft B-BBEE Amendment Bill!

Employment Equity

Employment Equity measures the percentage of black staff employed in the business.  The composition of one’s staff is not something that can be quickly changed, so the implementation of an Employment Equity strategy is often rolled-out as a long term commitment to transformation. However, if you employ black people at any level, and particularly black females, it may be worth including this element in your score card.

Skills Development

This element is designed to improve the skills of black employees. QSEs should be spending 2% of the annual wage bill on training, so depending on the size of your salary expenses and the importance the business places on up-skilling staff, this may be a worthy element to select as part of your scorecard.

But bear in mind that the BEE Codes require strict adherence to labour legislation such as compliance with the Skills Development Act, registration with a SETA,  etc before you can earn any points under this element. So, ensure that your ‘labour’ ducks are in a row; otherwise all effort and expense taken on training might not be recognised for BEE scorecard purposes.

Preferential Procurement

This refers to the BEE status of all suppliers. The more empowered your suppliers, the more points your business will earn on its scorecard.  So, preferential procurement is a relatively easy way to score BEE points; you just need to buy goods and services from companies that are BEE certified. But from a practical perspective this element is probably the most administratively intensive, as it requires collecting the BEE certificates of every supplier.

 Enterprise Development

Enterprise Development (ED) is designed to create sustainable small black owned businesses. QSEs are required to contribute 2% of their net profits after tax towards ED beneficiary businesses. Compliance with this element is relatively easy as it requires no restructuring and points can be earned by ‘writing a cheque’, should the business so desire. In order to ensure return on your ED investment however, instead of contributing to unrelated third parties, see if there are any ED beneficiaries within your own supply chain (your clients or suppliers) that you can develop.

Socio Economic Development

Socio Economic Development (SED) is grassroots development that brings black people into the economy as active participants. QSEs are required to contribute 1% of their net profits after tax towards SED beneficiary businesses. Like ED, simply ‘writing a cheque’ can get you points but it’s worth aligning your CSI initiatives with this element.  To earn BEE points from making contributions to charities or similar organisations, black people must constitute at least 75% of the beneficiaries supported by the organisation. In order to avoid unnecessary admin and complications when being audited, make sure that the organisation that you support has been issued with a Beneficiary Analysis Certificate, a special type of BEE certificate which examines the demographic composition of the beneficiaries.

Conclusion

Whatever your attitude towards BEE is-whether viewed as tax of sorts, additional compliancy requirement or as a tool to achieve genuine transformation in the workplace- BEE is here to stay.

The good news for you if you are an SME owner that BEE is far simpler and less onerous to implement than you probably had realised.

About BEE123 by Pastel

BEE123 is a newly launched division of Softline Pastel.

BEE123 is South Africa’s leading a one-stop BEE Portal that offers a complete range of useful tools, software, news, information and BEE network partners ensuring that BEE is easy to understand and implement. Developed using Softline Pastel’s infrastructure, and with a partner network of South Africa’s leading Verification Agencies and BEE service providers, BEE123 is at the cutting-edge of the BEE services industry.

Web: www.bee123.co.za

Email: info@bee123.co.za

Tel: 0861 BEE123 (233 123)

By Saul Symanowitz: Divisional Director, BEE 123 by Pastel

 

Saul Symanowitz

Introduction

It’s been around for more than 10 years, so there is no excuse to not be compliant with the regulations of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, or BEE for short. BEE compliance is not compulsory by law, but it is recommended for all companies because it has become a real factor in winning and retaining business in South Africa.

Notwithstanding the above, BEE is an area where many misconceptions and negative attitudes still prevail. This is a pity, because, in my experience, once businesses understand how BEE actually works, they realise that BEE is actually far simpler and less onerous to implement than they had envisaged, especially for SMEs.

How BEE Works

So how does BEE actually work?

Not everyone knows that different sized businesses are treated differently for BEE.

  1. Exempted Micro Enterprises, or EMEs, are businesses that turnover less than R5million per annum. EMEs are free from the requirements of BEE. They are not measured by the BEE scorecard and are automatically considered as fully BEE compliant, achieving a level three contributor status if they are more than 50% owned by black people, and a level four if they are less than 50% black owned.
  2. Qualifying Small Enterprises, or QSEs, are those businesses with an annual turnover of between R5 million and R35 million. QSES are only measured against four of the seven BEE elements, with each counting 25 points.
  3. Generic Enterprises are businesses that turnover more than R35 million per annum. Generic Enterprises are measured in terms of all 7 BEE elements on the Scorecard, with differing weighting points for each element.

Herewith is a summary table of the above:

Element

Weighting

Generic(use all 7/7) QSE(use any 4/7) EME(N/A)
Ownership 20 points 25 points
  • Less than 50% black owned-

Level 4 BEE Status

 

  • More than 50% black owned-

Level 3 BEE Status

Management control 10 points 25 points
Employment equity 15 points 25 points
Skills development 15 points 25 points
Preferential procurement 20 points 25 points
Enterprise development 15 points 25 points
Socio economic development 5 points 25 points

Connected Services

Grant_Lloyd

Grant Lloyd

There’s very little doubt that the internet has arrived and is here to stay – for better or for worse…..

Not only has the availability and the capacity of internet connectivity improved markedly of late, but, the price of such services has shown increased (albeit very gradual) signs of commoditisation in the past year, providing an increasingly compelling service at progressively competitive prices (although South Africa still has a LONG way to go in this regard).

Generally accepted “standard” online applications i.e. those which we are (largely) comfortable using on a daily basis, such as online shopping, internet banking, flight and hotel reservation systems, news feeds and the ubiquitous social media sites, are increasingly being complemented by a steady stream of new online business applications and services.  One has only to consider the initial launch success of both Pastel MyBusiness Online and VIP Liquid Payroll to confirm that the adoption rate of online line-of-business software is on the rise for new entrants into the market segment.

How then does one bridge the gap between the inexorable trend toward online line-of-business software adoption and traditional desktop application users in a similar segment?

In the same way that the adoption of what we (today) consider commoditised uses for the internet (listed above) has been a steady evolutionary process, so too will the switch from legacy desktop line-of-business applications to cloud-based services prove to be a gradual yet inevitable “chicken-little” adoption process rather than a single cataclysmic “big-bang” event.

It is in this evolutionary shift that the advantages and conveniences of connected services can not only aid, but expedite the considerable benefits of dual-deployment business software models i.e. client-side hosted applications with significant connected services capabilities and functionality, together with a vendor-facilitated seamless upgrade path to ultimately complete cloud-based models.

Consider frictionless updates as one example of connected services enabling traditional desktop application to seamlessly update itself over the internet, with little or no intervention from the end-user of the software.  New updates are made available by the vendor on a periodic basis and are shipped invisibly to the end-user leveraging the internet as a transport mechanism.  Gone are the days of CD-based updates and often disruptive installation and implementation cycles.

Imagine to a world of connected payment and financial services where both desktop and cloud-based line-of-business applications offer tightly integrated and yet transparent payment, reconciliation and receipting functionality without the use of traditional front-end banking software in a “clunky” 2-phase approach, once again leveraging the internet as bi-directional transport facilitator.

Whilst the internet and more specifically cloud-based and / or online business applications present some of the most compelling opportunities for re-imagining the way one conducts business in the 21st century, it is reassuring to observe that such leveraging of internet capabilities will almost certainly not be a “one-size-fits-all” model.  Incremental evolution of traditional desktop software, leveraging the internet where appropriate and when business-enhancing, will play as important a role in the evolutionary shift to complete cloud-based business software provisioning, billing and deployment, thereby providing a flexible and extensible “to-cloud” migration path as deemed preferable by individual business requirements, as will pure cloud-only offerings.

-BY GRANT LLOYD, CTO Softline and Sage AAMEA