The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has declared January 31st as the deadline for businesses and individuals to submit their annual tax returns for the year 2023. This announcement was made by Mojisola Aboyade-Cole, the Head of the Relation Management Unit at LIRS, during an interview on Arise TV.
Businesses are encouraged to utilize the e-tax platform, which has been in operation for the past four years, to electronically file their tax returns. Additionally, business owners are legally obligated to file returns on behalf of their employees.
Four key returns are mandated for submission on the platform: annual tax returns, income projection, withholding taxes, and a schedule of remittances. Aboyade-Cole emphasized the importance of adhering to the deadline, stating that it is a statutory obligation with no provision for extension in the law, except during exceptional circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aboyade-Cole clarified, “It is a legal obligation, it is statutory, and there is no provision in the law for extension. The only time I know extensions were granted was during the time of COVID or probably when there was a company that was locked up… but even if your company is locked up now, everything is online, so there is no excuse.”
The LIRS representative outlined penalties for incorrect filing or evasion. Businesses may face a penalty of N20,000 for incorrect filing and double the outstanding unpaid amount. Furthermore, businesses engaging in evasion or under-reporting could be penalized with N500,000. Legal action leading to a six-month conviction in court is also a possible consequence.
Aboyade-Cole highlighted the LIRS legal directorate’s role in pursuing those who are recalcitrant in meeting their tax obligations. However, she urged business owners and individuals to file early to avoid the last-minute rush and potential penalties.
The LIRS initiative emphasizes the importance of timely tax compliance for businesses and individuals in Lagos State, contributing to the state’s revenue generation efforts.