May 22, 2020
On 15th May, 2020, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (“LIRS” or “the Service”) notified all individual taxpayers including self-employed persons that it has extended the deadline for filing of Annual Tax Returns to 30th June, 2020.
The obligation to file this annual return is contained in Section 41 of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act. This provision makes it mandatory for all taxable persons to file a return of income for every tax year with the state tax authority in which they are deemed resident within 90 days from the commencement of each tax year.
This extension is part of the ongoing efforts of the Lagos State Government to mitigate the effect of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Nigeria. The LIRS initially announced a two-month extension from 31st March to 31st May, 2020 (Read our tax alert on this here). However, the Service has now issued a further communication to all individual taxpayers extending the filing deadline to 30th June, 2020.
The LIRS further enjoins taxpayers to access their eTax platform via etax.lirs.net or their Customer Care Centre on 0700 CALL LIRS (070022555477) for all tax administration matters. These matters include filing of annual returns, generation of assessments and payment schedules and payment of tax liabilities.
Based on this notice, individual taxpayers, including self-employed persons, who are yet to file their annual tax returns now have till 30th June, 2020 to do so. Taxpayers who are yet to comply are advised to take advantage of this extension to avoid the penalty for non-compliance. In this regard, Section 94(4) of the PIT Act empowers a relevant tax authority (RTA) to institute proceedings or impose penalties of an amount equal to the income tax chargeable on persons who fail to comply with the requirements of a notice given by the RTA under the provisions of Section 41 of the PIT Act.
In light of the present public health safety concerns arising as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, taxpayers should liaise with tax advisors to access the LIRS’ electronic platform and adopt alternative payment methods to ensure that they file the relevant returns to the LIRS by the new filing deadline of 30th June, 2020.