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Deadline looms for tax returns… many employers slow to submit

2021-03-11  Staff Reporter

Deadline looms for tax returns… many employers slow to submit
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Despite the looming deadline for submission of the 2020 individual income tax return, many employers have not yet submitted their employee tax returns as per Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) requirements (ETX template/excel sheet) on the ITAS portal. An individual income tax return declaration is validated against the information submitted by the employer, hence assessments for employees will not be completed when such employer has not submitted all monthly returns.

“We are urging institutions and all the employers who are registered as taxpayers to take this call very seriously….We therefore want to urge all the employers to submit their monthly detailed ETX returns from March 2019 to February 2020 by uploading the designed Microsoft excel template or capturing employees’ details information online,” said Ministry of Finance spokesperson, Tonateni Shidhudhu. 

He added that failure to submit returns will have a negative effect on the employees’ annual individual submissions. Employers should also ensure that PAYE 5 certificates are an exact reflection of their monthly ETX submissions for the tax year. The latest figures from the finance ministry indicate that the total number of individual taxpayers in the country are just over 611 000 while the number of individual portal registered taxpayers stands at 146 369. 

Shidhudhu continued that the finance ministry is currently also assisting employers to validate the tax numbers of their employees and also register those without a tax number. ITAS requires that every employee from whom tax has been deducted on the payroll of a particular institution/employer should have a tax number.

 The deadline for submitting the individual tax returns for the 2019/2020 tax year was extended three times and is now set for 31 March 2021. Currently the delay is caused by employers who are not finalising their ETX templates to allow their employees to file individual returns correctly. 

“We are also urging employees to check with their respective salary offices if they have finalised the ETX templates before they submit their returns. If you submit before your employers, the system will not recognise the tax credit because there is no indication of the deductions from your employer, hence we are really urging employers to take this call very seriously; it is a race against the clock and we need to finalise this matter,” Shidhudhu added.  

 He noted that there are however employers, including some government ministries and offices, that have already finalised their ETX. The ministry therefore urges employees in these institutions to file their returns online before the due date. 

Said Shidhudhu: “Please file your returns on time to avoid payment penalties, late submission penalties and possible interest.” 

Ministry of Finance officials have already carried out training at various institutions on how to upload their ETX on the portal and the ministry’s doors remain open for any employer who needs guidance on how to populate and upload the template.

2021-03-11  Staff Reporter

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