Due to public demand and the effects of Covid-19, the Ministry of Finance has extended the deadline of submitting the annual Individual Income tax returns from 30 June to 30 September 2020. According to the finance ministry, the extension is necessary to allow all the employers to submit their employee tax on the Integrated Tax Administration System (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, and these assessments will be placed on hold by the system, waiting for all Pay As You Earn (PAYE) returns for the year to be submitted online by the employer.
We, therefore, want to urge all 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,” read a statement from the ministry’s spokesperson, Tonateni Shidhudhu.
He cautioned that if detailed returns are not submitted, employees’ annual individual submissions will negatively be affected.
Said Shidhudhu: “Employers should also ensure that PAYE 5 certificates are an exact reflection of their monthly ETX submissions for the tax year. Employers are further advised not to issue PAYE 5 certificates to employees if they (employers) did not file their ETX returns online as per the ITAS requirements.
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 June or any other date after end of June”.
The ministry also informed taxpayers that the deadline for the incentive programme for using the online tax system in the form of waving penalties charged on tax accounts will also be extended to the 30 September 2020. To qualify for this incentive, a taxpayer must register on the ITAS portal as an e-filler, and update through online submission all tax accounts for all tax types in respect of tax returns that might be outstanding.
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.
“We, therefore, wish to urge all taxpayers to make use of the opportunity before the due date. Once again, the ministry encourages taxpayers to register and file their tax returns online for quicker assessment outcomes and avoid physical submission that can expose them to risks such as Covid-19,” Shidhudhu stated.
Taxpayers who are experiencing challenges uploading the ETX Microsoft excel sheet have been advised to contact their nearest Inland Revenue Office for assistance. Alternatively, contact the ministry’s helpline.