2020 tax filing period day one: Nearly 100,000 returns filed by mid-morning

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Taxpayers waiting to declare their taxes in person at an MTA office. Source: ERR

The Tax and Customs Board (MTA) says around 95,000 2020 tax returns had already been filed on Monday morning, the first day on which returns could be filed, leading to the traditional annual backlog and reminders from the authority that the February 15 date is the opening day for submissions, not a deadline.

The MTA said the figure had neared the 100,000-mark as of 9.30 a.m. on Monday, adding that there is no need for those who have not yet filed to rush; due to a backlog of processing taxpayers could wait a little longer, the board says – speaking both about online returns and in-person returns at an MTA outlet.

Sander Aasna, head of public services at the MTA, said: "The MTA recommends not rushing to file taxes, and submitting them later [instead], when the load on information systems has eased. It is also not worth rushing to a tax authority's office in the hope that the income declaration will be quicker there - there are, as every year, very long queues in the first weeks."

Users limited online to prevent overload

"In order to facilitate completion for people who have already started filling in their declaration, we have, as in previous years, limited the number of users who can log in to the system at one time," Aasna added.

The deadline for filing remains the end of April, while repayment dates of rebates remain the same, Aasna said, meaning little is to be gained from submitting today or even in the next few days for those who have not already done so.

Aasna also expressed apologies on behalf of the MTA for any delays in processing.

Rebates start being paid later this month

The filing period runs February 15 to April 30 inclusive, while rebates start being paid from February 26 – for those who have filed by that time electronically, or from March 19 for those who file on paper, assuming no further documentation or verification is required. Rebates for 2020's tax year should be paid by October 1, also the deadline for payment of outstanding owed tax.

This time last year, close to 150,000 returns were filed online within just hours after the system opened, which happened on the evening of Thursday, February 13 (2020 was a leap year and February 14 was a Sunday, hence the slightly later filing period opening date this year – ed.).

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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