Section 41 of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act mandates all persons who are taxable under the PIT Act to file a return of income and claims for every tax year with the tax authority of the state in which the taxable person is deemed to be resident. This return is expected to be filed within 90 days from the commencement of every year of tax assessment (i.e, January). Thus, the deadline for filing this return for 2018 year of assessment is 31 March 2019.
Some of the key provisions of the PIT Act with respect to filing of annual returns of income and claim under Section 41 are as follows:
- Taxpayers who earn more than ₦30,000 in a year are required to file their annual return of income and claims by 31 March without any form of notice or demand by the tax authority;
- A taxpayer is required to file, along with the return, a true and correct statement of the amount of income from every source (i.e. earned and unearned income) computed in accordance with the provisions of the PIT Act and the associated regulations;
- The form of return is expected to contain a declaration which is to be made by or on behalf of the taxpayer that the particulars given in the return are true and complete;
- The state tax authority is empowered to institute proceedings or impose penalties of an amount equal to the income tax chargeable on persons who fail to comply with the requirements of a notice given by the relevant tax authority under the provisions of Section 41 of the PIT Act.
It is important to note that the requirement for employers to file returns of emoluments paid to their employees under Section 81 is different from the requirements under Section 41. Hence, taxpayers who have not complied with the provisions of Section 41 by themselves or through their employers should do so before the expiration of the deadline.
As the government at all levels continues the drive for increased revenue from taxes, it is incumbent on all taxpayers to comply with the provisions of the tax laws in order to avoid undue exposures to non-compliance penalties. It is important for taxpayers to note that in addition to a penalty of an amount equal to their income tax chargeable, taxpayers may also experience difficulties in claiming reliefs and allowances in the event of failure to file returns under Section 41 of the PIT Act.
Thus, taxable persons who earn ₦30,000 or more in a year should engage their tax consultants and file the required returns on or before 31 March 2019.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.