The time has now come to declare your hard earned money to the State, dear employees. By virtue of Section 112 (1) of the Income Tax Act 1995, the due date for the submission of returns of income and payment of tax this year by individuals is the 31st March 2013.
For those taxpayers who prefer the traditional method of submitting returns and payment of any tax due, that is, a manual return duly filled and effecting payment of tax at the counter of the MRA, the deadline is Monday, 1st April, 2013; since 31st March, 2013 is a Sunday.
However, it is worth mentioning that Monday 1st April, 2013 coincides with Easter Monday, and the possibility of a further extension of this date is questionable. In a recent past, an additional delay of 24 hours was granted by the MRA, for submission and payment of any tax due, because the due date coincided with Easter Monday.
Irrespective of section 112(1) and according to section 112(3), if an individual submits his return electronically and at the same time makes payment of any tax due, through internet banking, the due date for submission and payment for the e-filing is the 15th April.
Your Login Details
As from next week, forms for the current year of assessment will be available on the website of the Mauritius Revenue Authority. The employees will receive their Log-In/Password through an official letter issued by the MRA, by post, as from this week. This Log-In/Password will enable the taxpayer to view his form online. It is to be noted that for this fiscal year, the MRA has brought about improvements to the e-filing system, emphasizing mostly on the security of taxpayers’ confidential data.
Upon availability of tax returns and in line with MRA’s calendar of Important Dates 2013, taxpayers opting for e-filing will have until the 15th April, 2013 to submit their returns and pay any tax due electronically.
Emphasis on Data Security
The Mauritius Revenue Authority is reportedly capitalizing much on the importance of increased security of confidential data of taxpayers. Thus, the MRA is trying its best to rule out any possibility of hacking. In this respect, all taxpayers will have to register on the website of the MRA to subsequently access their tax returns.
How To Submit Your Return Electronically
For the purpose of e-filing, the user has only two choices on the website – either click on the “Quick Links” or go to “Latest News”, both visible on the MRA’s website here.
Clicking on these will open the registration page automatically, whereby the taxpayer will have to input his personal information.
This exercise will enable the MRA to automatically update its taxpayers’ database with bank account numbers, in case electronic refunds have to be effected. The MRA contends that submission of returns will become easy with the e-filing services. Upon receipt of the Log-In/Password, the taxpayer will obtain a Pre-Filled Income Tax Return based on the Return of Employees submitted by employers.
The taxpayer accordingly has the duty to verify the Pre-Filled Income Tax Return and make necessary amendments according to the Statement of Emoluments provided to them by their respective employers, before submitting the return electronically.
Pre-Filled Income Tax Returns
The Pre-Filled Income Tax Returns is only available if the respective employers have submitted their Return of Employees to the MRA. In case of non-submission of the latter, the income tax returns will not be pre-filled. Initially, the employers had till the 15th of February to submit their Return of Employees, but an additional delay has been granted till the 20th of February for the employers to fulfill their obligations. It seems that the compliance rate recorded at the end of last week for the submission of Return of Employees has not yielded the desired results.
A Question of Managing Change
This new form of e-filing for individual taxpayers has been tested with those who furnish Current Payment System (CPS) returns. So far, it has worked well for this niche. The MRA does not expect major problems in this peak time, except that of people accepting and managing this change.
Payment of taxes by SMS
With the collaboration of the State Bank of Mauritius and Orange, the MRA is also preparing to accept payment of taxes by SMS. In this respect, taxpayers will have to register either with Orange or the State Bank of Mauritius.