Mastering Payroll: PAYE and Deductions in Tanzania

This article simplifies Tanzania's payroll regulations for your businesses, ensuring they comply with labor laws.

For businesses operating in Tanzania, navigating payroll can seem complex. But understanding the key concepts – payroll, PAYE (Pay As You Earn), and statutory deductions – is essential for ensuring smooth operations and staying compliant with Tanzanian tax regulations. 

What is Payroll?

Payroll is the process of calculating, withholding, and disbursing employee compensation. This includes salaries, wages, bonuses, and any other taxable benefits they receive. The payroll process involves:

  • Recording employee hours worked
  • Calculating gross pay based on salaries, wages, and bonuses
  • Withholding taxes and statutory deductions (explained below)
  • Netting out deductions to arrive at the employee's take-home pay
  • Issuing payslips and making payments to employees and relevant authorities

Understanding PAYE

PAYE is a Tanzanian withholding tax system for income earned through employment. As an employer, you're required by law to deduct income tax from your employees' salaries or wages before paying them.

Understanding Tanzania's Payroll System

Tanzanian law requires strict adherence to payroll regulations. Employers must maintain detailed records on employee data, minimum wages, working hours, benefits, and tax contributions. Here's a breakdown of key aspects:

  • Income Tax (PAYE): Tanzania uses a progressive tax system. The tax rate increases with income level, ranging from 0% to 30%. There's no PAYE for minimum wage earners (earning less than TZS 270,000 annually). Non-residents pay a flat 15% tax on Tanzanian income.

Residents earning between TZS 270,000 and TZS 520,000 annually pay an 8% tax.

Employees earning between TZS 520,000 and TZS 760,000 pay 20% tax.

Those earning between TZS 760,000 and TZS 1,000,000 annually pay 25%.

Earnings above TZS 1,000,000 pay a 30% tax.

  • National Social Security Fund (NSSF): Employers contribute 20% of an employee's basic salary to the NSSF. This contribution can be split between employer and employee in various ways:-:

Employer: 10%, Employee: 10%

Employer: 15%, Employee: 5%

Employer: 20%, Employee: 0% (employer covers the entire contribution)

  • Worker's Compensation Fund: Employers contribute 0.5% of the employee's cash pay to this fund.

Salary Structure Breakdown

Here's a look at the components that make up an employee's compensation package in Tanzania:

  • Gross Salary: This is the pre-tax salary an employee receives before deductions.
  • Net Salary (Take-Home Pay): This is the amount the employee receives after taxes and deductions are withheld.
  • Basic Salary: This is the base pay before allowances and benefits. It typically falls within 30-35% of the gross salary.
  • Allowances and Benefits: These can include medical, meal, housing, transport, retirement, and entertainment allowances. Taxes may apply depending on the allowance/benefit type.
  • Bonuses: These are common and should be factored into the CTC.

By following these steps and understanding Tanzania's payroll system, you can ensure a smooth operation for your business and build a foundation of trust with your employees.

Published Date:
June 18, 2024