SARS releases New Business Requirements Spec (BRS)

SARS have recently finalised and published their updated Business Requirements Specification (BRS) V20 0 2 to be implemented for the August 2021 submission of tax certificates. Payroll companies have been provided with this specification and should have their systems upgraded in time for the August submission.

Key changes include:

  1. Some validation and format changes to email addresses. For example, a backslash, an inverted comma, a percentage sign, and a few other items cannot be inserted in an email address, including the introduction of a few other basic rules regarding formats.
  2. The employer’s Trade Classification as per the VAT 403 guide (i.e. code 2035) is optional if the Transaction Year of a certificate is prior to 2021. If the Transaction Year of the certificate is after 2021 then this field is not to be completed. 
  3. There are some important new validation rules around the actual Certificate Number (i.e. code 3010) in that it now needs to be unique per employee and cannot be reused in any prior or current year. The rules however do state under what specific conditions the same Certificate Number can be used. There are also a few new rules around the use of special characters in the Certificate Number.
  4. The ETI fields have been updated to cater for the latest ETI eligibility conditions such as age, date joined, extension of the number of months claimed where the employee reaches the 24 months, SEZ exemptions, as well as the increased rebate values (i.e. under the extended lockdown relief measures). There are some additional validations included to assist in curbing the abuse of the ETI scheme.
  5. Additional validation has been included to ensure the uniqueness of employee numbers used on the Certificate.
  6. The changes to the number of and supporting information required for reporting on the employee’s Tax Directive have been included – i.e. up to 5 directives can be included for the Transaction Year 2022 and greater. For the Transaction Years prior to 2022, 3 records of Tax Directives can be reported on. New information required when reporting Tax Directive information includes the date that the directive was issued, related income source code for the directive, and the value of the lump sum or taxable benefit as per the directive issued.
  7. Some additional comments and updates under code 3713 (Other Allowances) regarding the provision of a Subsistence Allowance to an employee.
  8. The new provision regarding an employees’ eligibility for a daily subsistence allowance even though they did not spend a night out of town has been included.                      

Employers need to be aware of these changes. Payroll software and service providers will ordinarily take care of the updated requirements and include these changes in their software applications to ensure employers using their software and services are compliant. This may require an update to a newer version in some cases so be sure to check with your payroll software and service provider if these changes are covered.

Access the official version here.

If all of this seems a little daunting, join us at our Mid Year – Payroll Taxes and Associated Legislation Update Seminar on 4 or 5 October 2021 for an in-depth analysis of what all of this means in practice. Check back here regularly for dates and to book your seat.