Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State

COVID-19: Lagos, Jigawa announce more tax reliefs, measures for taxpayers

*Lagos IRS adopts video conferencing for conducting Tax Audit Reconciliation Committee meetings

*Post-COVID-19 businesses to benefit for 18 months without paying tax ─Jigawa Commissioner

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In the mode of the Bayelsa State Government’s recent decision to grant individuals and businesses tax holiday to help in cushioning the negative impacts of COVID-19, the Lagos State Government, again, has assured of implementing more tax incentives, reliefs to taxpayers in the state regarded as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria.

ConsumerConnect gathered that the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has commenced the implementation of more reliefs and measures to further ease the impact of the pandemic on taxpayers in Lagos State starting from Thursday, July 16.

Report further revealed that the additional measures and incentives are sequel to the agency’s initial three-month extension of the deadline for filing of annual returns (from March 31 to June 30, 2020).

Mr. Ayodele Subair, Executive Chairman of LIRS, said: “The following measures are to be implemented to further ease the impact of the pandemic on our esteemed taxpayers in Lagos State: LIRS shall allow on a case by case basis, payment of outstanding liabilities in instalments to ease cash flow challenges that may affect taxpayers.

“Taxpayers are to enjoy a waiver of penalty for late payment of liabilities under PAYE (Pay As You Earn) that was due during the period of March-May, 2020 when the state was under COVID-19 lockdown.

“In addition, a waiver of penalties due on late filing of 2020 annual tax returns known as ‘Form A’ will be granted.

According to Subair, a remarkable waiver of interest and penalty on liabilities arising from 2009 to 2015 tax audit for taxpayers who can pay up on or before December 31, 2020, will be implemented.

“In appreciation of taxpayers that have supported the state government in the fight against the pandemic, the LIRS through the state government will be granting tax credit of 20per cent of cash and kind donations made towards COVID-19 by individual residents in the state for the 2021 Year of Assessment (subject to a cap of 35 percent of tax due),” he disclosed.

He stated that more payment channels, including video conferencing as the default mode for conducting Tax Audit Reconciliation Committee (TARC) meetings, have been opened up to make payment of taxes easier, simpler and more convenient for all.

The LIRS Chief urged taxpayers to make use of the agency’s digital communication platforms to get updates on its operations and details of all tax payment platforms.

Likewise, the Jigawa State Government has given a year’s tax holiday to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) whose businesses suffered as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (MON) of Jigawa State

Babangida Umar, Honourable Commissioner for Finance, Jigawa State, confirmed this to newsmen in Duste, Jigawa State capital.

Umar stated that only those business owners with registered business names would benefit from the gesture.

New businesses and those that would commence in the post-COVID-19 era, according to him, would benefit from an 18-month period without paying tax.

He noted that all existing enterprises and individual taxpayers in the state have an extension date of filing their returns till September 30, 2020.

Umar said: “We have reduced penalty and interest fee from 10% to 5% and from 21% to 9% respectively and 50% waivers on business premises licence, informal sector taxpayer and warehouse rent tax.”

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