Lagos extends filing of annual tax returns to mitigate COVID-19 impact
– State CJ urges lawyers to adapt to the methodology of virtual hearings
Lagos State Government, in her continuous effort to provide the much-needed relief to tax-payers and mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic, has through the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) further extended the deadline for filing of annual tax returns to June 30, 2020.
A statement by the Executive Chairman of LIRS, Mr. Ayodele Subair, said: “As the Lagos State Government keeps abreast of global best practices in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and easing the effect of an economic downturn on tax-payers and residents of the state, LIRS had initially extended the deadline for filing annual tax returns for two months, from the statutory March 31 of every fiscal year to May 31, 2020. We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organisation to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020. It is our sincere hope that tax-payers take advantage of this new extension to duly file their returns.”
In another development, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, yesterday urged lawyers to ensure that they adapt to virtual hearings and keep themselves technologically inclined with requisite facilities during the COVID-19 period.
Alogba said this during a virtual summit organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Commercial Regulatory and Investment Disputes, best practice (CRID-Law Net) and Justice Reform Project (JRP).
He said: “Once counsel is able to adapt to the methodology of virtual hearing, even where a citizen does not have a compliant gadget to partake in this kind of hearing, the lawyer can call him to chambers and he will be able to latch on the facility of the lawyer so the proceedings can commence.”
The chief judge said that notice of remote hearing would be on the doors of the courts and as well as the judiciary website.
On the other hand, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), said that the state Ministry of Justice would ensure that the administration of justice in the state was not affected by the pandemic.
He noted that the Lagos Practice Direction was the first in Nigeria to deal with the remote sitting of courts.
In the same vein, President of CRID-Law Net, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), said that CRID-Law Net is a non-advocacy group that promotes best practices in the resolution of commercial disputes.
He said that the flagship of the project was based on the Administration of Civil Justice Bill.