Covid Advisory: Updates regarding employment and tax relief measures

30 April 2020 122
This aims to highlight and bring to your attention key aspects regarding certain relief measures introduced by government, which are relevant to your business as at the date of this communication:


As previously discussed, government has introduced the Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (COVID19TERS) to help employees that will lose income because of the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown. Take note that the current deadline for the submission of claims in terms of this relief scheme is tomorrow, 30 April 2020. In light of the practical difficulties and frustrations experienced by many employers in submitting claims under this scheme, as well as the delay in funds being paid out, it is possible that this deadline may be extended, although no such confirmation has been communicated and for now this deadline stands.

Skills Development Levy holiday

As part of the further tax relief measures announced by the President on 21 April 2020, a four month tax holiday for companies’ skills development levy contributions (1 per cent of total salaries) has been introduced. Take note that the tax holiday period commences on 01 May 2020, and therefore the first applicable return on which no levy contributions will be payable will be in respect of May 2020, to be submitted in June 2020.

Deferment of PAYE

While the government previously indicated that certain tax compliant businesses were eligible to defer a portion of their PAYE liabilities, this position has also been enhanced. The previous turnover threshold for tax deferrals has been increased to R100 million a year, and the portion of PAYE liability that may be deferred has been increased from 20% to 35%. Take note that eligible businesses must complete their EMP201 forms by declaring the total amount due for the relevant month and then only proceed to pay 65% of such amount over to SARS with effect from 7 May 2020, the submission date for the period 04/2020.

Tax clearance

It is further important to note that the PAYE liability deferral as referred to above might, from a practical e-filing perspective, complicate or delay the process to obtain a tax clearance certificate. Although there might be special concessions in this regard, it is therefore advisable to obtain a valid tax clearance certificate for your business prior to 7 May 2020.

For the moment and at the date of publication, this is the information we have obtained. We will keep you updated should any further relevant information come to our attention.

Although we have used our best efforts to ensure that all information contained in this communication is accurate as at the date hereof, we cannot guarantee the accuracy thereof and recommend verification thereof before use.