By Dr Graziella Cricchiola – Junior Associate
Yesterday, the Government published Legal Notice 135 of 2020 entitled Suspension of Legal Times (Revenue Acts) Order, 2020.
By means of this law, the Superintendent of Health ordered the suspension of all legal times, including prescription periods and peremptory periods emanating from the Income Tax, the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act, the Income Tax Management Act and the Value Added Tax Act. Such order will remain into effect until the Superintendent of Public Health orders otherwise.
This suspension is applicable to any period imposed under the aforementioned Acts for the following purposes:
a) for the making by the Commissioner for Revenue of any assessment, demand for payment, request for information, decision or order, and the issue and service of any notice there of;
(b) the payment by the Commissioner for Revenue of any refund of tax;
(c) the institution, execution or continuation of any judicial action for the collection of tax, additional tax, administrative penalty or interest, or for the prosecution or request for the prosecution of any criminal offence.
By means of such suspension any legal times that started running before such order came into effect but has not yet expired shall continue running again for the remaining period from the date that the suspension does not remain in force.
Moreover, such suspension shall also apply to any legal period emanating from the said enactments, which would have commenced running while the suspension is in force. In this case, said legal period will start running from the date such order of suspension is revoked.
It is stated that when the Superintendent orders the closure of any revenue department in order to prevent the spread of an infectious disease, any legal time imposed on the furnishing, delivery, filing or submission of any return, claim, objection, appeal, notice or information or any legal time imposed for the payment or remittance of any tax due to the Commissioner of Revenue that would expire were it not for this order during the period of closure or during the period of twenty-eight days following the period of closure will be suspended. In such case, the legal time shall be deemed to expire on the twenty-eight day following the period of closure.
However such suspension shall not apply with respect to any legal time imposed for the submission of any return, form, claim or notice or the making of any payment that is required to be submitted electronically.
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