FIRS Extends Deadline for Financial Institutions to Submit Reports


James Emejo in Abuja

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has extended the deadline for the submission of 2019 financial accounts reports under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) to September 30, 2020.
Financial institutions were initially directed to file their reports under the Automatic Exchange of Information Common Reporting Standard (AEOI-CRS) regulations on May 31.

However, Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, in a statement posted on Twitter yesterday, said the adjustment in submission deadline was in recognition of the challenges faced by financial institutions, which may result in the delay in reporting financial account information.

He said the service had been inundated with requests for an extension of the time of filing reports by the institutions.
Nami explained that the FIRS was committed to providing, as a priority, support to all taxpayers to ease their tax compliance obligations at all times, particularly during the COVID-19 restrictions.

He urged all financial institutions to take advantage of the extension to prepare and finalise relevant information as required under the Income Tax (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations 2019 and its related guidelines for reporting by September 30.
The service had earlier outlined measures to support taxpayers in managing their tax obligations during the current challenging times occasioned by the effects of COVID-19.

Earlier this month, it had announced a decision to waive interests accruable to debts as well as the related penalties for defaulting taxpayers if they fully settle their indebtedness on or before May 31.
Nami had said the concession was only valid for taxpayers who make full payments within the deadline.
He had previously directed businesses to commence payment of their annual returns earlier than the due date, apart from their normal monthly obligations.

The revenue agency had earlier issued the Income Tax (Common Reporting Standard (CRS)) Regulations, 2019 pursuant to its powers under Section 61 of the FIRS (Establishment) Act, 2007.

The regulations, which took effect from July 1, 2019, gives effect to the provisions of many instruments.
The regulations require a financial institution in respect of the 2019 calendar year and every subsequent calendar year, to file an “Information Return” with the FIRS.

However, where a reporting financial institution has identified no reportable account, the regulations require such an institution to file an Information Return with the FIRS, stating that it maintained no reportable accounts for that year.
The deadline for the submission of the Information Return under the regulations was initially May 31, of the year following the calendar year to which the return relates.

The regulations further stipulated various penalties for non-compliance with reporting requirements, up to a maximum sum of N10 million in the first month of the default and N1 million for each subsequent months in which the default continues.