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Checklist: Preparing for and processing tax year-end

Article written by Inge Barry

Learn about a series of measures to take and important dates to help you prepare for and process your payroll this tax year-end.

Tax year-end is almost here, but don’t stress. If you haven’t already planned for it, you still have time to get everything ready.

Out of all the preparation and processes for payroll year-end, reporting to the South African Revenue Services (SARS) on the previous tax year before 29 February 2024 is the most important thing to remember.

Unless otherwise specified by the Commissioner, all businesses must submit their annual employer reconciliation returns to SARS within 60 days of the start of the employer tax filing season.

In this article, we cover a series of measures to take and important dates to help you prepare for and process your payroll this tax year-end.

Here’s what we cover:

  • Payroll year-end checklist
  • Important Tax Year-End dates
  • Final thoughts

Payroll year-end checklist

3-step information verification process

Before you submit your payroll data, complete this three-step information verification process:

Step 1: Verify your:

  • PAYE registration number,
  • UIF reference number,
  • SDL reference number, and
  • Company information.

Step 2: Ensure your employees’ information is correct, including their:

  • Names,
  • ID or passport numbers,
  • Bank account numbers,
  • Income tax reference numbers,
  • Address and phone numbers, and
  • Directive numbers.

Step 3: Check your remuneration data by:

  • Verifying your employees’ earnings, deductions, and employer contributions.
  • Ensuring you have processed the above using the correct IRP5 codes.
  • Using the medical aid billing statement to ensure that medical aid dependants were reflected correctly throughout the tax year.

All staff who worked for you on the last day of the fiscal year, 29 February 2024, must get an IRP5 document.

This crucial document summarises their pay and deductions for the year.

You can produce, print, and send IRP5s using your payroll software and securely distribute them online.

Process your payroll

Now is when you get down to the detail.

Step 1: Reconcile your PAYE, UIF, SDL and ETI values.

Step 2: Create a CSV file from your payroll and import it into e@syFile Employer.

Complete your year-end

Check your processing date on your payroll software – it should be 29 February 2024.

You can now complete your year-end processing and make your final submission for the tax year.

Important tax year-end dates

We’ve already mentioned some critical dates around payroll year-end, but here they are again, along with other important dates for the 2024/25 tax year.

Add them to your calendar if you haven’t already:

29 February 2024: The last day of the tax year

1 March 2024: New tax year starts

31 May 2024: Deadline for annual employer reconciliation submissions

31 October 2024: Deadline for mid-year employer reconciliation submissions

Final thoughts

Payroll year-end doesn’t have to be complicated. With a bit of forethought, you can complete your processing quickly before preparing for the next tax year.

If you have trouble with tax administration or need to fill in the blanks regarding your deductibles and ensure that your business is tax compliant, go to your nearest SARS branch or use the online helpdesk service.

Editor’s note: This article was first published in February 2023 and has been updated for relevance.

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