Where an employee earns income abroad, the Foreign Service Income system item should be used to ensure compliance with SARS reporting.
To apply this system item to an employee:
- Go to the employee’s profile.
- Click on Add (next to Regular Inputs) and select Foreign Service Income under Other.
- If you are satisfied that the employee meets the criteria for the foreign service tax exemption (see below) to be granted, click the relevant tickbox. This will ensure that only non-foreign income earned is taxed, while foreign income earned is not subject to tax. Leaving this unticked will result in both foreign and non-foreign income being taxed.
- Click Save.
The Basic Salary on the employee’s payslip under Regular Inputs will now change to Basic Salary (Foreign Income). Use this item for recording all foreign income earned. To record non-foreign income earned, refer to the section below.
Foreign Service Tax Exemption
Where the employer is satisfied that an employee will meet the necessary criteria for a Foreign Service Exemption to be granted, the employer is at liberty to not deduct PAYE from any remuneration derived by the employee in respect of services rendered outside the Republic. To qualify, the employee must have rendered services for the employer outside the Republic for :
- A period or periods exceeding 183 full days in aggregate during any 12 month period; and
- Continuous period exceeding 60 full days during that period; and those services were rendered during that period or periods.
The employer must keep a copy of each page of the employee’s passport and a copy of the relevant contract for the services to be rendered in a foreign country. Should it transpire that the employee does not qualify for the exemption; the employer will be held personally liable for any losses that SARS may suffer due to the non-deduction of the full amount of employees’ tax.
To add non-foreign income to a payslip:
- Click on Foreign Service Income under Payslip Inputs. Please note that this will only be available once the Foreign Service Income system item has been applied to the payslip, as outlined above.
- Enter an amount for the non-foreign income earned.
- Click Save.
Note: Local income earned is subject to income tax and therefore is taxable, regardless of whether or not the employee qualifies for the Foreign Service Tax Exemption.
All foreign income recorded under Basic Salary (Foreign Income) will be recorded on the employee’s IRP5 under code 3651, while all non-foreign income recorded under Foreign Income (under Payslip Inputs) will be recorded using the usual 3601 code.