Following measures introduced by the Federal Government to ameliorate the impact of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has extended the deadline for filing annual tax returns for employees and self-employed persons by two months from 31 March 2020.
Consequently, the new filing deadline for the returns is 31 May 2020.
The extension of filing deadline by the LIRS is a step in the right direction, as it would be difficult for taxpayers to file their returns timely following the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses by the Lagos State Government in response to COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the LIRS did not extend this palliative to other compliance obligations, such as filing and payment of monthly withholding tax and Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) tax. As businesses grapple with loss of revenue, reduced productivity, lockdowns, cashflow challenges, etc., it is imperative for the LIRS to introduce measures that would mitigate the inevitable financial burden on taxpayers as is the case in other climes. For instance, Denmark extended the timeline for payment of PAYE taxes by 4 months while the Netherlands has decided not to impose penalty for non-payment or late payment of taxes.
We expect the LIRS to continue to review the COVID-19 situation and introduce additional palliative measures for business survival in this challenging time.
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