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All news by: Mark Hewitt

Lockdown Level 2 And Key Amendments to TERS

During the course of the past few days, significant developments have taken place with respect to the UIF Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (“TERS”) as well as the Lockdown regulations.

UIF TERS Extended To 15 August 2020

Earlier today the Minister of the Department of Employment and Labour (“DEL”) announced that applications for the Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (“TERS”), operated by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (“UIF”), will be extended until 15 August 2020.

UIF TERS Open for June Applications

As part of the government’s response to the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (“UIF”) has been managing the processing and payment of claims submitted in relation to the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (“TERS”).The total payments made to employers/employees, as confirmed by the Department of Employment and Labour up to and including the 19th of June 2020 is close to R 24 billion - R 6 billion of which solely relates to the month of May.

Lockdown Level 3 and TERS Updates

On the 12th of July 2020, the President announced further amendments to the Lockdown Level 3 Regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act No. 57 of 2002. These amendments have been made in the wake of an exponential increase in positive COVID-19 test results throughout South Africa, specifically the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

UIF TERS Open for May Applications

As part of the government’s response to the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (“UIF”) has been managing the processing and payment of claims submitted in relation to the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (“TERS”).The total payments made to employers/employees, as confirmed by the Department of Employment and Labour (“DEL”) on 26 May 2020, is just over R 15 billion. These payments, however, only relate to the month of April. UIF TERS relief for May has been long awaited by employers and employees.

TERS, Tax Relief and Level 4 Regulations

On 13 May 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa re-affirmed the government’s commitment to balancing the health of the South African people and the ability of those exact people to earn a living. He commented that the positivity rate has remained low and stable, allowing for a further relaxation of the regulations under Level 4. We have already seen some of these relaxations implemented during the course of May.   The take away from his latest speech was that the government will immediately begin a process of consultation with relevant stakeholders on a proposal that by the end of May, most of the country be placed on Level 3, but that those parts of the country with the highest rates of infection remain on Level 4. Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize announced that the lockdown will be assigned on a district basis and not provincial as initially speculated.   The full speech of the president of 13 May 2020 can be located HERE.   An updated version of the regulations under Level 3 has not yet been released, but we will communicate as such when more information becomes available.   Since our “Moore: Alert” on the Level 4 Lockdown Regulations, which can be located HERE, additional information has been released by the National Treasury, the UIF and the government on various matters.   In this article we communicate the latest developments with respect to UIF TERS, Tax Relief and Level 4 Lockdown Regulations in order to ensure our client base remains informed and vigilant. We request our readers to read our article in conjunction with the relevant source documents, where referred to.

MOORE ALERT: LEVEL 4 LOCKDOWN IMPLICATIONS

South Africa is entering Lockdown Level 4 on 1 May 2020. This has far reaching implications for employers, employees and the business community at large.   The regulations issued by the South African government (the “government”) on 29 April 2020 are very detailed and specific to each respective industry and employer. Due to the large volume of information we cannot communicate the intricacies of the regulations and have therefore elected to rather ensure our client base has access to the relevant source documents in order to investigate and conclude on their own.   The pertinent information is detailed below and must be read with the source documents referred to:

An Unprecedented R500 Billion Relief Package

At approximately 8:30 pm on 21 April 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a government backed COVID-19 relief package of unparalleled magnitude never before seen – worth an estimated R500 billion. This roughly equates to 10% of the South African GDP. To put this in perspective – it is roughly R50 billion more than the entire Eskom Debt to date, which has dominated the news headlines over the recent years. The majority of the R500 billion relief package will be funded by additional debt the government will bring onto the balance sheet of South Africa from various international financial institutions, with the minority of the relief package being funded via available government funds and a reallocation of the current budget

A Comprehensive Update on The Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme

Subsequent to our previous article (click HERE) which discussed, amongst other topics, the intricacies of the COVID-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (“C19 TERS”), the Department of Employment and Labour (“DEL”) have made numerous amendments to the relevant requirements and the application process.   We suspect that more amendments will inevitably be implemented by the DEL in relation to C19 TERS, but we are of the opinion that the material amendments have been made and that a form of ‘stability’ has been reached.   We would like to take this opportunity to point out that certain spokespeople have issued statements that are contradictory to the information published in the government gazette and/or in UIF/TERS Guidelines. Verbal statements by Ministers or similar Representatives on media platforms do not amend the published laws, regulations and guidelines and are non-binding.   In this article we delve into what the current format of C19 TERS entails, what the requirements as at 20 April 2020 are, who can apply and where to apply. Lastly, we answer a number of frequently asked questions.   Our specialist tax and advisory teams at Moore SA are committed to ensure our clients have access to accurate and relevant information at all times which supports the commercial decision-making process. We remain cognisant of the fact that information changes on a frequent basis. Our commitment to our readers during the Lockdown period, however, remains the unchanged:  Helping youthrive in a changing world   We have condensed the most pertinent information from lengthy and in-depth government sources, but request our readers to, where source documents are referred to in this article, read our article in conjunction with the source documents before making decisions.

Leadership Insights: Financial Sustainability

Mark Hewitt CA(SA), a Tax and Advisory Consultant at Moore Cape Town with a Masters in Taxation (MTax), recently joined Dr Andy Brough and Dr Dennis Farrell as part of their webcast series produced in order to support South African businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark shared his thoughts on financial sustainability in the current business climate. He has also written and compiled some helpful articles for businesses, which can be found HERE.

Covid-19 Government Relief Alert

In our previous article, released on 31 March 2020, we discussed the various tax relief measures, implemented by the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) to curb the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Lockdown. The article can be found HERE for reference.

Covid-19 Tax and Compliance Alert

In this article we analyse the various relief measures made public by the South African Government (“the government”) to date and aim to communicate how South African employers can access these funds and relief measures.

Covid-19 Business Impact Alert

Considering the magnitude and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (“WHO”), the Minister of Coorperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on 15 March 2020 declared a National State of Disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act No. 57 of 2002 (“the Disaster Act”) per Government Gazette No 43096.

Tax tips for 2020

The tax year ends on 29 February 2020. Our national tax advisory experts share their tips for reducing your tax liability, preparing for tax year-end, advice for avoiding penalties and some thoughts on how to #GetOrganised.

Examining the Carbon Tax in South Africa

The Carbon Tax came into effect 1 June 2019. Moore Stephens Cape Town’s tax experts look at what the Carbon Tax entails and ask whether it is the break of a new dawn or the straw that breaks the camel’s back.