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Xero continues to drive digital tax forward with new payroll eFiling integration for accountants

March 28, 2023

New integration with SimplePay and SARS will help reduce the tax burden for accountants in South Africa.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Xero, the global small business platform, has launched a payroll integration with SimplePay, allowing accountants to eFile employee tax declarations (EMP201s) from Xero to the South African Revenue Service (SARS). This builds on Xero’s suite of cloud VAT tax tools in South Africa.

Xero has built an integration with SimplePay, a cloud-based payroll software provider, to provide this functionality. Accountants and bookkeepers using Xero Practice Manager and SimplePay will now be able to set up EMP201 returns for their clients to automatically submit to SARS each month. This means once they complete a payroll run the EMP201 returns will automatically eFile to SARS – helping them to save time and reduce errors.

In 2021/22, the number of employers registered for PAYE grew by 2.3% to 632 599 according to the latest SARS tax statistics. All of these businesses need to submit EMP201 forms - making it a significant area of focus for accountants who process payroll for their clients.

Colin Timmis, South Africa Country Manager at Xero, said: “Tax is one of the biggest pain points for accountants and their clients, but South Africa has been behind the curve when it comes to digitising tax. We introduced direct VAT eFiling last year, so we’re excited to expand this to payroll tax too by partnering with SimplePay. Creating simpler tax processes will help drive the accounting industry forward, and also help expand the taxpayer base.”

Creating simpler tax processes will help drive the accounting industry forward, and also help expand the taxpayer base.

EMP201 eFiling is part of Xero’s set of cloud tools aimed at digitising and simplifying tax processes in South Africa. It joins VAT eFiling directly to SARS, VAT Return Form and VAT Late Claims Functionality. These tools support the government’s drive to modernise the tax system and increase the use of digital services.

SimplePay is a South African payroll solution and is already part of the Xero App Store to help small businesses build the right tech stack for their business.

Terry Gradidge, from accounting practice Doughgetters said: “This feature saves time and the hassle of actually submitting the returns. I process the payroll for numerous clients and it is great that I don’t have to worry about the submission of the returns and logging into the SARS portal to do each one.”

Dave Ungerer, Managing Director of SimplePay said: “Once again Xero has shown their commitment to help accountants and small business owners free up time for more valuable activities, by simplifying a previously manual process. SimplePay is excited to be Xero's partner in this journey.”

To use the EMP201 eFiling functionality, accountants will need to be processing payroll using SimplePay.

*This tool is only available to accountants and bookkeepers using Xero Practice Manager.

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