News

Remote working and Technostress

Since the increasing availability of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) over the past decade, as well as due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become more prominent throughout the world. It has given employees and businesses great flexibility on how they conduct their everyday business, improved productivity as well as having shown many that physical offices are no longer necessary or can at least be downscaled to decrease costs. However, since the increase in remote working, there has been an evident increase in technostress experienced by those working remotely.

N Nolands Team

SARS to implement emergency tax relief measures

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced several emergency tax relief measures in response to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and recent unrest that are aimed at helping affected and tax compliant businesses to recover and ensure livelihoods for employees.

N Nolands Team

SASRIA & Fiscal Budget

The South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA) will form a key part of the intervention to help insured businesses restore their operations. Together with reinsurers, SASRIA has already begun its claim administration process. Pay-outs will be provided to all covered businesses. Crucially, government has decided to provide full financial backing to SASRIA should it exceed its solvency limits. The National Treasury is putting in place the necessary arrangements to ensure that this commitment is met should it be needed.

N Nolands Team

Cybersecurity during COVID-19

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have put their countries into lockdowns – forcing businesses to adapt and work remotely. This sudden surge in internet usage has also seen a large increase in cyber-attacks, according to Mimecast’s 2020 state of email security report. The report showed that 61% of companies suffered from a ransomware attack, a 64% increase in email threats and a total of 79% of organizations were negatively affected due to their lack of cyber preparedness.

N Nolands Team

Jacob Zuma Judgement – What could this mean for South Africa

The recent ruling by the Constitutional Court sentencing Jacob Zuma to 15 months jail time can only be hailed as a victory for democracy and a booster for the South African economy. If one of the most powerful men in South Africa can be held accountable for their actions, then beware those who have been living off graft and corruption for the last decade.

N Nolands Team

Doing Business in South Africa – Our New Normal

The economic effects of the coronavirus crisis have been extensive in South Africa (SA) and a recovery to pre-pandemic levels will take several years. While it is forecast that the SA economy will recover marginally in 2021, it is likely to be uneven and subdued.

N Nolands Team

Information and Communication Technologies

(ICTs), have shown to be major contributors to the effectiveness of many different businesses throughout the world and are constantly changing the way people and industries operate. ICTs can be defined as an array of technologies that are designed to collect, store, process and communicate information both internally as well as externally of an organization. This makes ICTs quite a broad category of technologies but some of the most common examples are cloud computing, mobile apps, networked environments and even the Internet!

N Nolands Team

Filing Season 2021 Dates

Filing season starts on the 1st of July this year. The good news is that a significant number of individual taxpayers will be auto-assessed again this year, and this process will start in July. SARS will send you an SMS if you are selected to be auto-assessed. SARS will auto-assess based on the data received from employers, financial institutions, medical schemes, retirement annuity fund administrators and other 3rd party data providers. If you accept your auto-assessment, any under or overpayment of tax will be processed as normal. If you want to edit your return, you can file your return on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp or alternatively contact us for professional assistance in this regards.

N Nolands Team

Employer Annual Reconciliation: 1 April 2021 to 31 May 2021

Filing Season 2021 for employers, during which they must file the annual Employer Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501), opens on 1 April 2021 and closes on 31 May 2021. The EMP501 must reflect accurate payroll information about their employees, employees’ tax (PAYE) payments made and Tax Certificates (IRP5/IT3) (a)s generated, covering the full tax year from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021.

N Nolands Team

POPIA Topic 3

The general provisions under POPIA will apply equally to any personal information processed by an employer as part of an employee’s employment, and all employers have until 1 July 2021 to ensure that their workplaces are fully POPIA compliant.

N Nolands Team

Tax Proposals

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on tax revenue collection. Given large predicted shortfalls in revenue for 2020/21 and over the next three years, the 2020 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) confirmed that tax increases totalling R40 billion would be required over the next four years to help stabilise public debt and return the public finances to a sustainable position. These increases were first announced in the June 2020 special adjustments budget.

N Nolands Team

Corporate Income Tax and Tax Incentive Reforms

Government is reducing the number of tax incentives, expenditure deductions and assessed loss offsets, with the aim of lowering the corporate income tax rate over the medium term. These changes are expected to enhance efficiency, transparency and fairness in the business tax system, while facilitating economic growth through improved investment and competitiveness.

N Nolands Team

Personal Income Tax

Personal income tax accounts for about 40 per cent of total tax revenue. In response to extreme levels of inequality, South Africa’s rate structure is highly progressive and covers tax residents’ worldwide income. South Africa has the highest personal income tax share among upper middle-income countries, alongside one of the highest top personal income tax rates.

N Nolands Team

Ensuring an Affordable Public-Service Wage Bill

The sustainability of the public finances will depend heavily on government’s ability to reduce growth in the public-service wage bill. Compensation accounted for about 34 per cent of consolidated spending in 2019/20. Between 2006/07 and 2019/20, compensation was one of the fastest-growing spending items, increasing faster than GDP growth. As outlined in previous editions of the Budget Review and MTBPS, by 2019/20 rising compensation spending had become unaffordable and was the main expenditure risk to the sustainability of the public finances. At the general government level (which includes municipalities), South Africa’s wage bill as a share of output is approximately 5 percentage points higher than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average – and on par with Iceland and Denmark.

N Nolands Team

Budget Speech, Wednesday 24th of February 2021.

Tito Mboweni’s big day looms next week, with little progress on the medium-term budget policy speech. The biggest issue relates to the freeze on government wages to which there has been no resolution yet. Let’s hope that we get finality in the upcoming budget.

N Nolands Team

WhatsApp - Privacy Policy Update

Early in January 2021, Facebook’s messaging app WhatsApp received massive backlash in relation to an update of its privacy policy which was meant to take effect on the 8th of February 2021. Effectively, the update allows for new functionality to the businesses feature by allowing WhatsApp to reserve the right to share the different data it collects from you to other Facebook based apps.

N Nolands Team

Apps and the benefits they bring

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and as more emerging technologies gain traction, more and more opportunities become available to businesses that need to be utilized otherwise they risk falling behind – especially now that we are living in a vastly different “New Normal”. It is now harder for businesses to only rely on word of mouth or the use of bulk emailing to keep their clients informed and must utilize all digital platforms in order to thrive.

N Nolands Team

What Will a Biden Presidency Mean for Africa?

Probably the most memorable thing outgoing US President Trump had to say about Africa was his brash comparison of the continent to a toilet. Like many things he said, it was uninformed and unfiltered. True to his campaign promises, Trump has been inward focussed and has played to his grass-roots support. His “America First” stance has been the one thing about which he has been totally consistent.

N Nolands Team