The Tax and Customs Board (MTA) offices will remain closed to at least May 4, Baltic News service reports. The MTA had first closed its offices on March 16, four days after the government declared an emergency situation in response to the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when annual tax returns are being filed. To allow for tax returns on paper which would require a service office trip, the MTA is extending paper returns' filing deadline by a month.
While the deadline for filing is April 30 – itself a month later than in previous years and initiated before the pandemic began – paper returns will continue to be accepted till the end of May, or possibly later depending on when coronavirus restrictions start to be stepped down, according to BNS.
Naturally online returns, which make up the bulk of filing in any case, can be more easily fitted around the current movement restrictions and other fallout from the pandemic. The extension acknowledges those who still want to use paper, which would have to be filed at service centers – in any case closed as noted – as well as that, since such individuals are often older people, visiting younger relatives or others who might be able to help them online is not the best move given the virus risk.
"The lion's share of tax returns have been submitted electronically, but there are always people who prefer to file their taxes on paper, said Sander Aasna, head of public services at the MTA.
"Since the service offices are still closed, we will be accepting tax returns also after the deadline," he went on, according to BNS.
"We recommend that people at risk of COVID-19 not worry, and wait calmly. For example, it would be a bad idea to visit younger relatives at the moment in order to submit the tax return electronically -- let us better stay home and avoid contact."
As of April 8, total of 675,000 people had filed their tax returns for 2019 with the MTA. Of these, 14,800 submitted their tax declarations on paper.
An estimated 70,000 tax returns have yet to be filed.
€166 million in overpaid income tax paid has been refunded so far, with €32.5 million due the other way, arising from underpayment.
A total of €118,000 has been donated in lieu of rebates, an option given to those who have overpaid.
- Businesses with tax questions can call the MTA on 880 0812 – better for urgent queries the authority says, or emailed.
- The line for private individuals is 880 0811, and the email, again with a lengthier response time, of up to five working days, the MTA says, is here.
- Customs issues can be resolved on 880 0814 or emailed.
- Technical questions including those related to online filing can be answered on 880 0815 or emailed here.
Editor: Andrew Whyte