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Can I import my IRP5 payroll file into SARS eFiling to submit my reconciliation to SARS?

Created on  | Last modified on  Highlight Matches


This article discuss the details on importing your IRP5 file into eFiling, and not SARS e@syFile, when using Sage Classic, Sage Premier, Sage Business Cloud Payroll Professional and Sage 200c VIP.


The South African Revenue Services (SARS), allows multiple methods for employers to submit their payroll certificates and EMP501 reconciliation to SARS:

  • Manual – complete the relevant tax certificates (max 50 certificates) and EMP501return on the specified forms on eFiling, and submit electronically to SARS or visit a SARS Branch for assistance
  • Electronic – Generate a tax certificate file from the payroll system, and import this file into  SARS e@syFile Employer. Within e@syFile Employer, capture additional manual certificates, cancel certificates, capture EMP501 details, and submit to SARS via the eFiling online channel.
  • If the employer has 50 or less IRP5/IT3(a) certificates, a tax certificate file can be generated from the payroll system and this file can be imported into eFiling. Any amendments to, or cancellation of, or capturing of certificates can be done in eFiling as long as the total number of certificates does not exceed 50.



The answer to this question is yes; there is however a few considerations to take in account.

SARS provides multiple options to employers to complete there reconciliation submissions:

  • manually captured certificates on eFiling if there are 50 or less certificates
  • SARS e@syFile Employer, by importing importing the electronic payroll file (no employee limit)
  • SARS eFiling, by importing the electronic payroll file if there are 50 or less certificates

Reference: SARS Business Requirement Specification - PAYE page

The recommended submission method for employers using Sage payroll software is with SARS e@syFile Employer, for the following reasons:

  • SARS provides testing software to payroll software vendors to ensure the IRP5 files meet the specifications and validations as published in the Business Requirements Specification. 
  • The files are generated and validated using the specification, to ensure successful upload and submission to SARS using SARS e@syFile
  • SARS eFiling unfortunatley does not provide access to payroll vendors to complete the above actions. 

Even though eFiling is an submission option for an employer, unfortunately there does not exists a testing environment for third party payroll authors to validate the payroll files, or access to provide guidance to any users.

If you decide to continue submission through SARS eFiling, the expectation is the both eFiling and e@syFile have the same validation and import functionalities. 

Should you require assistance on the SARS eFiling submission process, you can refer to the SARS guide " A Step by Step Guide to the Employer Reconciliation Process" with detailed steps to complete the submission process or contact SARS. 

NOTE: Please review the revisions history table to ensure you access the latest version for the applicable submission season.