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How to boost your business’s Tax Incentives by hiring young people

We had briefly touched on this in our previous blogs, but let’s get a bit deeper into it. President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized the role of the government in helping businesses thrive in this year’s State of the National Address (SONA). This is mainly for job creation in South Africa. 

With the unemployment rate in South Africa (as discussed in our previous blog), the need to support small businesses so they grow, and also to encourage entrepreneurship, especially amongst the youth has significantly increased. 

Introducing ETI’s

The good news for businesses, they can utilize the tax benefit by hiring young people. This is called the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), and it’s said to be one of the most powerful tax benefits out there. ETI essentially reduces your overall Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) contribution without affecting the employee’s salary. 

> Employers will be able to claim the incentive for a 24 qualifying month period for all employees who qualify.

> The incentive amount differs based on the salary paid to each qualifying employee and whether the qualifying employee was employed after the inception of the ETI programme. 

How ETI works

Simple example:

If you hire 4 young people with salaries of R5000 per month, the total monthly payroll for all 4 employees would be R7500 from your overall monthly PAYE liability in the first 24 months in which the employee qualifies.

This can be done on your payroll system, and your employee’s salary will totally be unaffected. 

NB: The value of the ETI the employer may claim depends on the value of the monthly remuneration paid to the qualifying employee. If the employee has worked less than 160 hours in the month, the remuneration amount must be ‘grossed up’ to 160 hours per month to calculate the value of the ETI. The amount can then be calculated and be ‘grossed down’ in the same ratio.

Source: SARS

The math is simple, employers are rewarded for hiring young people, in return, they gain skills and experience. The private sector grows, and the economy grows. 

Who qualifies?

In his 2022 Budget Speech, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced an increase in the ETI values from 1 March 2022.

An employee qualifies for the ETI if he/she:

  • works for you assists in conducting business, and receives remuneration for their work,
  • is documented in your employer records according to the provisions of section 31 of the BCEA,
  • earns at least the minimum wage,]
  • is between 18 and 29 years old, or is employed in a special economic zone, and
  • has a valid South African ID, a valid asylum seeker permit, or an ID in terms of Section 30 of the Refugees Act.

An employee will not qualify for the ETI if he/she:

  • is a domestic worker,
  • is a “connected person” to the employer,
  • spends more time studying than working (unless the employer and employee have entered into a learning programme as defined in Section 1 of the Skills Development Act, or
  • earns a monthly remuneration of R6,500 or more.

We hope this helps you somehow, feel free to contact us if you need any more clarity. You may also refer to our blog about other effective and legal ways to avoid paying tax in South Africa: https://accasesolutions.co.za/2021/06/17/how-to-avoid-paying-tax-as-a-small-business-in-south-africa/

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