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The latest on PAYE

posted 6 Aug 2010, 01:40 by Carl Nielsen   [ updated 6 Aug 2010, 01:43 ]
As you have probably heard, maybe from me in one of my previous communications, our ultra-efficient Revenue Collection Service thinks it is a wonderful idea to register everyone for tax, even if they'll never in a million years pay tax. They made out to employers as if they'd have to submit income tax numbers for all their employees on the next PAYE reconciliation. Proactive employers therefore told their employees: you'd better go and get registered. Said employees did so, only to be turned away by SARS on the grounds that they don't need to be registered. Which in some cases was true, but not necessarily. Let's cut to the chase here: chaos kind of limply reigned.

So here comes the next communication from SARS: please stop sending your employees to us. If they don't have a tax number you can leave it out on the next return. We'll issue them a number. Wonderful!

(Can you imagine how many people will end up with 2 tax numbers now. Theoretically SARS should be able to distinguish by ID number, but that kind of places some reliance on Home Affairs and we all know how efficient that organisation is).

Prediction: more chaos.

But, the key thing to note for now is that if you are an employer, you can stop threatening your staff with wet noodle whippings or whatever else you might have over them if they don't come up with a tax number. If you're an employee, don't worry yet: SARS will issue you with a tax number in due course if you don't already have one - lucky you! If you're a tax practitioner, practice a knowing smile combined with a grimace, because there might be lots of work (some scary no doubt) coming your way... erm, I guess that's me.

Carl Nielsen,
6 Aug 2010, 01:42