On Tuesday, 19 May 2020, the FIRS issued a Public Notice announcing extension of the deadline for Financial Institutions to file their annual returns for Automatic Exchange of Information-Common Reporting Standard (AEOI-CRS) from 31 May 2020 to 30 September 2020.
The announcement follows the FIRS’ earlier palliative measures to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on taxpayers.
Extending the deadline for filing the AEOI-CRS returns gives the affected Financial Institutions (FIs) additional 4 months to complete the due diligence procedures required to identify Reportable Accounts and collect reportable information from the affected customers, according to Tax and Audit firm KPMG.
These include name, address, jurisdiction of residence, tax identification number in the jurisdiction of residence, date and place of birth. The extension will also allow FIs more time to acquire the appropriate technology for validation of data collected from customers, and to carry out data conversion to XML format, encryption and submission of AEOI-CRS returns to FIRS.
As this is the first AEOI-CRS returns to be filed in Nigeria, the extension should enable the FIRS to review possible technological glitches during setup, data collection, management and exchange, etc., that are commonly associated with adoption of new technology.
The affected FIs should make good use of the extended time to collect complete and accurate reportable information from their customers before submission to the FIRS. This is to avoid penalties under the Income Tax (CRS) Regulations, which are as high as N10 million in the first month of failure to comply, and N1 million for every month in which the default continues.