May 22, 2020
On 19th May, 2020, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (“FIRS” or “the Service”) issued a Public Notice to all Reporting Financial Institutions (RFIs) that it has extended the deadline for filing 2019 Information Returns under the Automatic Exchange of Information Common Reporting Standard (AEOI-CRS) from 31st May, 2020 to 30th September, 2020.
Regulation 5 of the Income Tax (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations 2019 (CRS Regulations) provides for the obligation to file the Information Return. This provision makes it mandatory for RFIs to file an Information Return, setting out the required information under CRS Regulations on or before 31st May of the year following the calendar year to which the return relates.
The FIRS through its Public Notice reckoned with the challenges faced by RFIs during this period as a result of the COVID- 19 Pandemic, which may result in delays in reporting and as such, extended the filing deadline by four months to 30th September 2020. The Service further enjoined RFIs to take full advantage of this extension to prepare and finalize relevant information under the CRS Regulations and its related Guidelines by the new filing deadline.
The Public Notice has reinforced FIRS’ commitment to full administration of the AEOI-CRS and its willingness to ensure adequacy and completeness of the Information Returns. It is important to note that non-compliance with the provisions of the CRS Regulations could attract penalties ranging from N5 million to N10 million. Based on the above, RFIs are advised to engage CRS professionals on this subject for guidance/support required to ensure full compliance with provisions of the Regulations before the new filing deadline of 30th September, 2020.