The finance ministry yesterday confirmed the annual Individual Income Tax Returns deadline, which was initially extended to 30 September 2020, has been further extended to 1 March 2021.
According to a ministerial statement, the extension is necessary to allow more time for employers who did not submit their Employee Tax returns (ETX template/excel sheet) on the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) portal.
"The Ministry would like to reiterate that online submission of ETX excel sheet is a prerequisite before annual Individual Income Tax returns are filed. Information disclosed or declared in individual tax returns is validated against the information submitted by the Employers, hence assessments for employees can only be finalised provided their respective employers have submitted monthly Employee Tax returns excel spreadsheet," read the statement from finance ministry spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu.
Through the communiqué, the ministry urged all employers who did not yet submit their monthly detailed ETX returns for March 2019 to February 2020 to do so by uploading the designed Microsoft excel template or capturing employees' details information online.
The ministry also advised employers to ensure PAYE 5 certificates are an exact reflection of their monthly ETX submissions for the particular tax year for accurate filing and reporting.
"Please note that this extension is only for the filing of returns but not for payment of tax which might be due by the 30th September or any other date after end of September. Taxpayers are further informed that the online penalty waiving incentive program is also extended to 01 March 2021," the statement continued.
Requirements to qualify for the incentive programme are the same as previously announced, namely that the taxpayer must register on ITAS portal as an e-filler and update all due tax returns on all tax types through online submission. Once the taxpayer has fulfilled the above conditions, penalties charged on any of the tax accounts will automatically be waived. That means the taxpayer does not need to make any form of application to have the penalties waived.
"Taxpayers are, therefore, encouraged to make use of the online penalty waiving incentive program, as there will be no further extension to be granted after 1 March 2021. Once again, the ministry encourages taxpayers to register for e-filing and file their tax returns online for quicker assessment outcomes and avoid face-to-face manual submission that may put them at risk of contracting Covid-19," the ministry stated.
Shidhudhu added the Ministry of Finance will continue engaging employers for assistance and further training on how to submit their ETX excel templates.