Sage Pastel Payroll HR Advantage

I’m sure you will all agree when I say that one should never underestimate the power of being organised. Especially when it comes to your company’s Payroll and HR. Enter Sage Pastel Payroll HR Advantage.  The ability to create more time whilst sustaining a constant state of order is a superpower we all long for in the workplace. If mastered and maintained, it tends to carry over into other areas of our lives.

Sage Pastel Payroll HR Advantage CloudThe new Sage Pastel Payroll  HR Advantage package caters for exactly that and then some. Its array of new features and functions empowers the user to uphold a refreshing standard of organisation. It also saves loads of processing time whilst effortlessly keeping your legislative ducks in a row.

You’re missing out if you haven’t witnessed the benefits that this new package has to offer. It’s the same Pastel Payroll we all know so well. Only now with the addition of 7 powerful user friendly modules designed to make Payroll & HR processing that much more efficient and compliant.

Sage Pastel Payroll HR Advantage Modules include:

Sage Pastel Payroll HR Advantage Self Service

Self Service

A cloud based portal giving your employees the ability to access their secure online profile. They can submit travel claims, manage leave, make changes to personal details.They can reprint payslips. The administrator can customize approval workflows to suit the company’s requirements which will then be synchronised to the desktop. All this will reducing the processing load considerably.


A module is suitable for any size and type of business. This easy-to-use desktop HR System is the perfect administration tool for human resource managers. It boasts uncomplicated functions such as company asset allocations, performance review processing, and the recording of employee training and education just to name a few. Disciplinary’s are also made easy as the system keeps track of all disciplinary actions enabling the administrator to remain CCMA compliant.

Sage Pastel Payroll HR Advantage Salary Salary Structuring

If you’ve ever had the frustrating and time consuming task of playing around with an employee’s basic salary only to reach a desired net, then you’ll love Salary Structuring. Its Ideal for those complicated salary setups as well as dummy payslips. You can calculate a net to gross or total cost to company remuneration package with ease.

Multiple Transaction Manager

A global update tool which enables you to process multiple employees at once. All done on one screen without having to hop from payslip to payslip. You can apply salary increases and process leave across the board at the click of a button.

Sage Pastel Payroll HR Advantage EfficientThird Party Transfers

Eliminate the possibility of human error when paying over employee and employer contributions to third parties such as medical aid and garnishee orders. This module allows the user to generate a problem free CSV file which is then imported into the company’s online banking,

Bulk Terminations & Reinstatement’s

A module which makes it easy to dismiss or re-employ multiple employees at once. It is especially useful if you employ seasonal or project-based employees. 

Consolidated Reports

You now have the option to consolidate the EMP201, EMP501 and Irp5 electronic certificates from multiple companies. It alleviates the tedious task of combining figures when submitting your SARS returns.

Employment Tax Incentive ETI 2017

So, can Employment Tax Incentive ETI still be claimed after 31 December 2016 and is it still valid in 2017? We have been following up with SARS to ensure we are up to date on this matter at all times. We have been advised that the review process is still in progress. Thus, Employment Tax Incentive ETI is still valid and should be applied in 2017 until further notice.

Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) was implemented with effect from 1 January 2014. Companies have been able to claim ETI for all of their qualifying employees. There have been many questions and uncertainties from various Employers, whereby some don’t completely understand how it gets calculated and this led to certain employers feeling anxious about the effect it might have on their Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and their annual returns in the near future.

To add to this uncertainty, the incentive’s effectiveness was to be reviewed to determine whether to incentive (scheduled to end of 31 December 2016) will continue or not. The Employment Tax Incentive Act, Act No. 26 of 2013 also mentions that the incentive ends on 31 December 2016 – “an employer may not receive the employment tax incentive from 1 January 2017”.

Below is a short summary focusing on the main aspects of ETI followed by the calculations :

Should you have any further questions regarding the above, please feel free to contact us on 021 447 9565 or send us a email on and we will give you a call to assist.

What is Employment Tax Incentive ETI:

  • In short, the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) was implemented to encourage employers to employ “young workers”.

Some of the benefits include :

  • Improving the skills and experience of young South Africans whilst also improving the high unemployment rate in our country.
  • Reducing the employers PAYE amount due to SARS on a monthly basis, with the incentive allowing the employer to reduce the Total Gross PAYE on their EMP201 with the combined ETI total calculated for all qualifying employees.
  • Employers can claim the incentive for all qualifying employees for a 24 month period.
  • Employees’ wages unaffected while the employer can reduce the companies PAYE liability.

Qualifying Employees :

  • Employee has a valid SA ID, Asylum Seeker permit or ID in terms of Refugee Act
  • 18 – 29 years old
  • NOT a domestic worker
  • Employee is not a Connected Person to Employer
  • “A connected person or relative means your spouse or anybody related to you or your spouse by blood in the third degree (e.g. great great grandfather etc.), and any spouse of these persons.”
  • Employed ON or AFTER 1 October 2013
  • Paid a wage of at least R2000 and not more than R6000
  • Where employee was employed for 160 hours in a month

Qualifying Employers :

  • Registered for Employees Tax (PAYE)
  • Is not a municipal entity
  • Is not in national, provincial or local government sphere
  • Not a public entity listed in Schedule 2 or 3 of the Public Finance Management Act
  • Not disqualified by the Minister of Finance due to the displacement of an employee or by not meeting the conditions as may be prescribed by the Minister by regulation.

Employment Tax Incentive ETI Calculations :

Some Employers might have experienced certain ETI errors when submitting their Employer Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) due to certain validation rules.

It is crucial to ensure that your ETI has been setup correctly on your Payroll software, and that the calculations are accurate and correct. For more information regarding the setup on your Payroll please contact us on the details provided.

Below is a summary on how ETI is calculated based on the different formulas :

  • For the first twelve months of employment :


Remuneration Tax % RebateTax Rebate Amount
R0 – R200050%R 0 – R999.9
R2001 – R4000FixedR1000
R4001 – R6000Formula X = A –(B x (C-D)) X = tax rebate A = R1000 B = 0,5 C = Monthly Remuneration D = R4000R 0 – R999.9
  • For the For the second twelve months of employment :


RemunerationTax % RebateTax Rebate Amount
R0 – R200025%R 0 – R499.9
R2001 – R4000FixedR500
R4001 – R6000Formula X = A –(B x (C-D)) X = tax rebate A = R500 B = 0,25 C = Monthly Remuneration D = R4000R 0 – R499.9

We would like to ensure all of our clients that we will continuously monitor and provide updates with regards to the review process and possible “cut-off” date in which you are able to still claim ETI.



Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4

The all new Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 is here and available for download to all clients. With the new update comes important new features to improve your everyday processing experience. Below are just a few of the changes you as Pastel Payroll User can expect from this exciting new update:

  1. Brand new icons. For an all new fresh look and feel, same functionality.

Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 New Icons Left         Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 New Icons Right

  1. Reset Password Functionality

    Forgot your password? Or simply feel like resetting your existing password? No Problem! This brand new feature allows users the opportunity to reset their existing passwords by requesting a Reset PIN.

How Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 works :

  • First of all, ensure that there is a valid email address entered for all users on the Sage Pastel Payroll System. To check this, the Administrator User needs to open the specific company. Go to Setup, Users/Passwords and then select Users/Passwords. If a user does not have a email address entered, they will not be able to use the Reset Password function and as a result will not be able to recover or reset their forgotten password.

Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 Users/Passwords

  • Enter a valid email addresses as shown above. The user can then open the company and then click on the “Forgot Password” option as seen below :

Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 Forgot Password

  • Enter the Username and click on OK. The Reset Password option will now be available as shown below. If no email address has been set up for the specific user the option will be greyed out.

Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 Reset Password

  • A screen will now pop up advising the user that as Reset PIN was sent to the email address that was selected for the user (as shown below). It will request the user to enter a Reset PIN, which can be found on the automatic email that would have been sent to the user.

Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 Reset Password/Pin

  • The email the user will receive will look the same as the image below. Finally, the user just needs to enter the Reset PIN provided on the email on the above Reset Password screen. Once done and entered correctly, they will be able to select and confirm a new password.

Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 Reset Email

3. Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 Enhanced Backup Functionality.

We all know how crucial it is to make backups of all Payroll Companies. Whether you have Weekly, Fortnightly or Monthly Processing. While it is important as making the actual backup, is to keep it as organized as possible should you need to restore.

We come across many clients on a day to day basis with more than enough backups, but it tends to be processed all over the place. Therefore finding the correct backup and restoring it ended up being a time consuming issue rather than a very quick and easy process.

So with the new backup enhancements in place, Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 has now added the following at the additional information at the end of each backup :

3.1. The date on which the backup was processed

3.2. The Time the backup was made

3.3. The CURRENT Pay Period End Date in which the company is

3.4. The Update on which the backup was made e.g. Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 (20174)

Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4 Backup

In conclusion, these are just a few of the new features one is to expect from the latest update, Sage Pastel Payroll 2017 Update 4. With each available update released, the end goal is to improve the software itself while also improving the user experience and making it as appealing and easy as possible.

If you feel comfortable applying the update on your own, feel free to do so, but PLEASE make sure that you have a working backup prior to running it. Furthermore, making sure you know where it has been made.

If you would like us to rather assist with the update, either contact our office on 021 447 9565 or email us on and we will gladly assist.

More Features to follow soon!




SARS Interim EMP501 Submission 2016

Dear Readers, SARS Interim EMP501 Submission 2016 is now open.  It’s that time of the Year again to get your Company EMP501 Recon and Declarations Submitted.  There have been many changes and SARS updates to get compliant with.  I listed the SARS top tips on the current and recent changes.

Contact us on for any additional assistance.

SARS Interim EMP501 Submission 2016 E2E

SARS Interim EMP501 Submission 2016 E2E

SARS Interim EMP501 Submission 2016

  • Employer Interim Reconciliation 2016
    Employers are required to submit an EMP501 confirming or correcting the amounts declared for Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Skills Development Levy (SDL), Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), and Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) in their EMP201s submitted, the payments made and the tax values of the Employee Tax Certificates [IRP5/IT3(a)]. The interim reconciliation is for the six-month transaction period 1 March to 31 August and must be submitted during September and October.For the 2016 Employer Interim Reconciliation the following legislative and system changes should be noted:

    • From 1 March 2016 contributions to Pension, Provident and Retirement Annuity Fund is deductible for payroll taxes
    • New source codes (3817, 3825, 3828) have been created to differentiate between Pension, Provident and Retirement contributions and new source code (4582) to indicate the total value “remuneration” portion where the source codes allow a 20/80 split
    • Medical expenses tax credit for people over 65 years who are still employed have been introduced
    • New source code(4120) has been created  to capture the additional medical expenses tax credit for employees over 65 years
    • Taxpayers will be able to submit a request for correction in relation to audited periods after the audit has been completed. Audit outcomes will be communicated to taxpayers via listed email on SARS records, posted letters will only be sent to taxpayers who do not have an email listed under their profile
    • EMP 501 has been updated to enable employers to print both EMP 501 and IRP5/IT3 (a) as a package. There is also an option for taxpayers to write the postal address in their preferred unstructured format
    • e@syfile Employer enhancements include an upgrade to Windows 8, and bulk printing of IRP5/IT3(a) certificates
    • Capturing of an EMP 201 return prior to 1999 will be allowed.

Top Tip: The latest e@syFile™ release notes is version 6.7.0.

  • 13 June 2016 – 2016 IRP5/IT3(a) : 4018
    Income Protection Policy Premiums (4018) is not allowed as a deduction from 1 March 2015. Some employers have taken this deduction into account for the 2016 PAYE calculations.   This resulted in the under-deduction and payment of PAYE.These employers are requested to rectify such under-deductions and payments to SARS. Incorrect IRP5/IT3(a) certificates should be corrected, submitted to SARS and re-issued to affected employees. Employers are requested to make these corrections urgently to ensure that the correct details can be pre-populated by SARS on the employees’ income tax returns (ITR12s).The 4018 deduction may still be reflected on the 2016 IRP5/IT3(a) certificate although it no longer qualifies as a deduction for tax purposes.
  • 1 April 2016 – Employer Annual Reconciliation Employers are required to submit their Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) Employer Annual Reconciliations between 18 April and 31 May 2016 to SARS, confirming or correcting payroll tax amounts which were declared during the 2015/2016 tax period.This year, employers are urged to accurately verify and update each employee’s personal and financial details before submitting their Annual Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) and Employees Income Tax Certificates [IRP5/IT3(a)s] to SARS.Should these details be incorrect on an IRP5 certificate, the employee will be unable to file his/her Income Tax Return for Individuals (ITR12) during Tax Season.  Individuals will no longer be allowed to make any corrections to pre-populated IRP5 details on their returns.In cases where details are incorrect, employees will have to revert to their respective employers who will need to make changes on the IRP5 and re-submit these to SARS. This process can be time consuming and it may become problematic for employees to file on time.

    Employers play a very important part in the income tax cycle which effectively starts on 18 April with the submission of the annual reconciliations. We rely on your cooperation to make the submission of ITR12s later in the year as stress-free as possible for all involved. Need help? Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277

Legislative Compliance for your Sage Pastel Payroll Software

Every year one can expect changes and updates from SARS and therefore Sage Pastel Payroll software that must be adhered to in order to successfully complete Tax Year End submissions.

We have entered into a very busy season assisting every Sage Pastel client that is not yet 100% Reconciled & Administratively compliant.

As always, if you are venturing into the unknown abyss that is Legislative Compliance for your Tax Year End submissions and you are not familiar with the process and changes, please contact Francois for immediate support.

Those that want to brush up on the latest Legislative rules can do so with Sage Pastel’s Payroll Legislation Training course available for download or on DVD. Learn the Acts that govern Payroll with an interactive e-book that allows you to make e-notes and gives you access to useful websites such as SARS e-filing and Workmen’s Compensation.

For more information visit our Learn Payroll page.