The long awaited national minimum wage (NMW) has been signed into law.  The effective date is 1 January 2019. What exactly does this mean for employers and employees?

The new minimum wage of R20 per hour applies across all sectors, with a few exceptions.  The exceptions include domestic workers, farm/forestry workers and workers employed in Expanded Public Works Programmes.

The exceptions will only be temporary.  It is envisaged that there will be a gradual adjustment of domestic and farm/forestry workers’ wages to come in line with the NMW.  As a first step domestic workers’ minimum wages will be increased to a minimum rate of R15 per hour, and farm/forestry workers’ wages to a minimum rate of R18 per hour. The implementation dates of these increases have not yet been announced.

Some sectors will have to adjust their minima upwards with effect from 1 January 2019 – these include the Hospitality Sector, Wholesale and Retail Sector.

For employees who work 45 hours per week, the minimum monthly wage will be just short of R3900.  If the contract of employment makes provision for less than 45 hours per week, the monthly rate can be less than this amount.

Employers are restricted in the way that they structure the remuneration package.  The NMW excludes allowances that are paid to enable employees to work (such as transport and equipment), or payment in kind (such as board or accommodation), as well as bonuses, tips or food.

Employers are not permitted to unilaterally change working hours due to the implementation of the NMW. Any reduction of hours of work will have to be negotiated.

There is provision for employers to apply for exemption of up to a 10% reduction by means of an electronic system.  At the time of the announcement of the implementation date there was no information available on how to go about this in practice.

FAMILY

IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY, YOU WOULD MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE WHAT THEY NEED

However, dying without a Will can leave your family with less than what they need.  By having a valid and updated Will, you are putting your family’s needs first.

Make an appointment with us to draft your basic Will during National Wills Week (11 to 15 September 2017)

tax invoice

South Africa operates a VAT system whereby businesses registered for VAT are allowed to deduct the VAT incurred on business expenses (the input tax) from the VAT collected on the sales made by the business (the output tax). The most important document in such a system is the tax invoice. Without a valid tax invoice a business cannot deduct input tax on business expenses.

In the past a tax invoice was only considered valid if it had the words “Tax Invoice’’ on it. However from 8 January 2016, section 20(4) of VAT act has been amended so that a valid tax invoice can now have the following words on it and still be a valid invoice to claim input VAT:

  • TAX invoice, or VAT invoice, or Invoice.

There are other criteria that must be met in order to qualify as a valid tax invoice. All the criteria below must be met for an unabridged tax invoice (an unabridged tax invoice is one where the total value of the invoice is equal to or exceeds R5000).

  • Contains the words “ Tax Invoice” , “VAT Invoice’’ or “Invoice’’
  • Name, address and VAT registration number of the supplier
  • Name, address and where the recipient is a vendor (customer), the recipient’s VAT registration number.
  • Serial number and date of issue of invoice
  • Accurate description of goods / or services (indicating where applicable that the goods are second hand goods)
  • Quantity or volume of goods or services supplied
  • Value of the supply, the amount of tax charged and the consideration of the supply (value and the tax)

For an abridged tax invoice (an abridged tax invoice is one where the total value of the invoice is between R50 and R5000), all criteria above must be satisfied except for points 3 and 6.

TIP

Contact all your suppliers and make sure they have all your details on their database. It’s in your best interest to help suppliers with this, otherwise you might have a problem with SARS disallowing your input tax claims. Also make sure that when you have first contact with a new supplier that you give them written confirmation of all your company details and contact them later to confirm they have them and don’t need anything else. Check your invoices when you receive them against the above criteria for any errors and follow up with the suppliers if you spot something missing, because once they’re paid it’s easy to forget about checking them.

There is a checklist on the SARS website which gives a very good summary of the criteria for valid tax invoices. It would be advisable to keep it on hand so that you can tick the criteria off as you check your invoices. We have included it below.

dance

BOOKKEEPING

Very often when you run your own business you end up doing a lot of things yourself and this can steal you away from your passion and purpose.

At BVDM PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS bookkeeping is music to our ears, we love what we do and use our talent for balancing books to your advantage.

Give us a call today and get back to fuelling the music of your soul by focusing on your real business passion!

Contact: 041-3956600 / info@bvdm.co.za

will-612x291

The administration process for estates of a gross value of R250 000 or more is defined in the Administration of Estates Act, in terms of which executors must follow these guidelines:

Notice of estate and appointment of executor
-6 to 10 weeks
Preparatory work for compilation of Liquidation and Distribution account
-6 to 24 weeks
Investigation of Liquidation and Distribution account by the Master
-4 to 8 weeks
Liquidation and Distribution account for inspection
-4 to 6 weeks
Finalisation of the estate (after inspection period and no objections lodged)
-4 to 8 weeks
Total (of an average estate):
-6 to 13 months

ucm_307917

The executor needs specific documents of the deceased to speed up the administration process. If certain documents, such as title deeds of fixed property or share certificates, cannot be traced, the executor must obtain duplicate documents at the expense of the estate, which may create a delay.

The types of documents normally required include:

  • Last signed original will (or particulars of where it can be found)
  • Deceased’s identity document
  • Death certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Antenuptial contract (if applicable)
  • Name and date of death of any predeceased spouse (if applicable)
  • Divorce order and deed of settlement (if applicable)
  • Copies of identity documents of all heirs
  • Copies of marriage certificates of all heirs
  • Postal addresses and contact particulars of all heirs
  • Name and address of deceased’s employer
  • Deceased’s employee number
  • Pension number, name and address of pension fund
  • Membership number, name and address of medical fund
  • Income tax reference number and office where registered
  • VAT registration number (if applicable)
  • Title deeds/Sectional title deeds/Timeshare certificates or particulars where obtainable
  • Lease contracts
  • Firearm licences
  • Vehicle registration certificates
  • Share certificates or name of institution where portfolio is managed or electronically kept in custody
  • Unit trust certificates/notices
  • Any other investment certificates
  • Last cheque book and bank statement
  • Mortgage bonds
  • Promissory notes in respect of loans owed to the estate
  • Credit cards and any other bank cards
  • Life insurance policies, or full particulars
  • Short-term insurance policies, or full particulars
  • Details of safety deposit boxes at any banks
  • Partnership agreements, purchase and sell agreements and latest financial statements in respect of any business being operated (if applicable)
  • Deeds of sale in which the deceased had an interest
  • Details of all debts owed by the deceased
cyberattack_1805164c
  1. Data is one of your most important assets yet it is not covered by standard property insurance policies

Most businesses would agree that data or information is one of their most important assets. It is almost certainly worth many times more than the physical equipment that it is stored upon. Yet most business owners do not realise that a standard property policy would not respond in the event that this data is damaged or destroyed. A cyber policy can provide comprehensive cover for data restoration and rectification in the event of a loss no matter how it was caused and up to the full policy limits.

  1. Systems are critical to operating your day to day business but their downtime is not covered by standard business interruption insurance

All businesses rely on systems to conduct their core business, from electronic point of sales software to hotel room reservation systems. In the event that a hack attack, computer virus or malicious employee brings down these systems, a traditional business interruption policy would not respond.

Cyber insurance can provide cover for loss of profits associated with a systems outage that is caused by a “non-physical” peril like a computer virus or

denial of service attack.

  1. Cyber crime is the fastest growing crime in the world, but most attacks are not covered by standard property or crime insurance policies

New crimes are emerging every day. The internet means that your business is now exposed to the world’s criminals and is vulnerable to attack at any time of the day or night. Phishing scams, identity theft and telephone hacking are all crimes that traditional insurance policies do not address. Cyber insurance can provide comprehensive crime cover for a wide range of electronic perils that are increasingly threatening the financial resources of today’s businesses.

  1. Third party data is valuable and you can be held liable if you lost it

We all hold more data than ever before and often this data belongs to our customers and suppliers. Non-disclosure agreements and commercial contracts often contain warranties and indemnities in relation to the security of this data that can trigger expensive damages claims in the event that you experience a breach. Increasingly, consumers are also seeking legal redress in the event that a business loses their data. This risk is further heightened in the event that you hold any data on US consumers

  1. Retailers face severe penalties if they lose credit card data

Global credit card crime is worth over $7.5bn and increasingly this risk is being transferred to the retailers that lose the data. Under merchant service agreements, compromised retailers can be held liable for forensic investigation costs, credit care reissuance costs and the actual fraud conducted on stolen cards. These losses can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars for even a small retailer. Cyber insurance can help protect against all of these costs.

  1. Complying with breach notification laws costs time and money

Breach notification laws are slowly being introduced across many different countries. These generally require businesses that lose sensitive personal data to provide written notification to those individuals that were potentially affected. Even though a legal obligation to notify only currently exists in some countries, this is changing and there is a growing trend towards voluntary notification in order to protect your brand and reputation. Customers who have had their data compromised expect openness and transparency from the businesses they entrusted it with. Cyber policies can provide cover for the costs associated with providing a breach notice even if it is not legally required.

  1. Your reputation is your number one asset, so why not insure it?

Any business lives and dies by its reputation. Although there are certain reputational risks that can’t be insured, you can insure your reputation in the event of a security breach. When your systems have been compromised, you run a risk of losing the trust of your loyal customers which can harm your business far more than the immediate financial loss. Cyber insurance not only helps pay for the costs of engaging a PR firm to help restore this, but also for the loss of future sales that arise as a direct result of customers switching to your competitors.

  1. Social media usage is at an all-time high claims are on the rise

Social media is the fastest growing entertainment channel in the world. Information is exchanged at lightning speed and exposed to the world. But often there is little control exercised over what is said and how it is presented and this can give rise to liability for businesses that are responsible for the actions of their employees on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Cyber insurance can help provide cover for claims arising from leaked information, defamatory statements or copyright infringement.

  1. Portable devices increases the risk of a lost or theft

The advent of portable devices and the ability to work away from the office has made life a lot easier for many of us. However, this new style of working also means that important and confidential data can be stolen or lost much more easily. A laptop left on a train, an iPad stolen in a restaurant, or a USB stick going missing are all good examples. In addition, the devices themselves are being targeted with a growing number of viruses being built just for them. Cyber insurance can help cover the costs associated with a data breach should a portable device be lost, stolen or fall victim to a virus.

  1. It’s not just big businesses being targeted by hackers, but lots of small ones too

Whilst the large-scale hack attacks on the news often involve big companies, small companies are also at risk and often don’t have the financial resources to get back on track after a hacking attack or other kind of data loss. In fact, over a third of global targeted attacks were aimed at businesses with less than 250 employees. Cyber attacks are quickly becoming one of the greatest risks faced by smaller companies, making cyber liability insurance a must. It can help protect smaller companies against the potentially crippling financial effects of a privacy breach or data loss.

Contact Delene Auld on 041-395-6600 or email: delene@bvdm.co.za