April 9, 2021
On 31st March 2021, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) issued a public notice, informing taxpayers that the deadline for filing annual returns for individual taxpayers and self-employed persons who are resident in Lagos State has been extended to 14th April 2021. The extension was granted to taxpayers to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on taxpayers and residents of Lagos State.
The requirement to file this return is provided in Section 41(1) of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act, which mandates all taxable persons to file a return of income for every tax year with the tax authority of the State in which the taxable person is deemed to be resident within 90 days from the commencement of each tax year i.e. 31st March. However, the deadline for the year 2020 returns filing has now been extended by two weeks and will lapse on 14th April 2021.
According to the Notice, the extension was in response to appeals made by taxpayers and is an attempt to assuage the effect of the Pandemic on the taxpayers and residents of Lagos State.
The Notice also reiterated that further updates on the business operations and alternative payment platforms of the LIRS can be obtained by visiting the LIRS website and its various social media platforms.
Section 94(4) of the PIT Act empowers a relevant tax authority (RTA) to institute proceedings or impose a penalty 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.
Based on this Notice, taxpayers have an additional two-week period which will lapse on 14th April 2021 to file their annual returns of income and claims for the 2020 tax year. The extended timeline provides an opportunity for individuals who were unable to meet the earlier deadline to submit returns without fear of incurring penalties for default.
As the government continues its drive to increase tax revenue, it is incumbent on all taxpayers to ensure compliance with the requirements of the law to avoid potential tax exposures. Taxpayers who are yet to file their annual returns of income and claims are advised to immediately engage their tax advisors and utilize the extended window to comply with their filing obligations.