For the first time in a while, I am writing this editorial from somewhere besides my office desk. I am writing from my reading table at home and this is not because I am on a holiday or just feeling lazy but because Miss Rona has confined me and so many others all over the world to our homes. I first heard the term ‘Miss Rona’ few days ago as is being euphemized in some quarters and for a second, I wondered why it wasn’t called ‘Mr Rona’ or ‘Sir Rona’.
In my amazing intern, Oladayo Olukowi’s words, the Corona Virus pandemic is currently sweeping the planet like a wildfire and a hurricane combined and it is scary to say the least. As at 6.55pm Nigerian time today, 26th March, 2020, there are 510,645 total cases and 23,079 total deaths reported worldwide. There have been 122,245 recoveries, however. Whichever way we choose to look at it, the world has been truly humbled by this reality. No one seems to have the answers and we are all united globally in our strong desire to surmount this challenge.
Nigeria still remains one of the least affected on the list of countries with our 51 reported cases as at today, but the reality is, with the manner in which most people have continued to move about freely, the figures might rise considerably. The ‘Stay at Home’ policy needs to be taken more seriously especially with the asymptomatic tendencies of the disease. Basically, you do not know who is carrying this virus because there may or not be symptoms. The safest way to deal with this pandemic and drastically reduce the spread at this time is to stay at home and practice social distancing if you have to move around at all. It is important to stay productive, however. Thankfully, access to technology has made it easy to implement remote working and while our businesses may be affected, we can leverage technology to help us significantly cushion the effects of the pandemic on our work life.
The government at Federal and State levels have been quite magnanimous in putting palliative measures in place to ease the burden on citizens at these trying times; some of which include the tax deadline extensions for Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax (WHT) payments, extension in Personal Income Tax Returns filing and recently the Stimulus Bill being considered among others. Well, we have our reservations on some of these measures but at least we can give some points for the effort. I remain positive that we would overcome these challenges and look back after it is all over with a smiles of relief and gratitude.
In this issue:
- In ‘Nigeria’s Fiscal Response to COVID-19: The Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, 2020’; we examine how the Nigerian Government aims to address the adverse effects COVID-19, as well as the effects on the Nigerian Economy and on Taxation.
- In ‘How the Global Oil Price War Affects Tax Revenue in Nigeria’ Taxaide’s Graduate Intern, Oladayo Olukowi discusses how the drastic decline in the global oil prices could affect the tax revenue in Nigeria.
- The Personal Income Tax (PIT) Returns Filing Season is still very much upon us, though extended in light of the current global pandemic and to ensure you stay compliant, we wrote this piece as a guideline. This is a reproduction of one of our TaxThursday Publications: ‘6 Simple Steps to Ensure You Comply with the 2020 Personal Income Tax (PIT) Filing Returns Season In Nigeria’.
- The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has extended the Value Added Tax (VAT), Withholding Tax (WHT) and Companies Income Tax (CIT) returns filing deadline to the last working day of each month after the month of deduction. For more details, read here.
- The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, has warned of an imminent global recession similar to that of the 2008 recession. Read more here.
- The FIRS has pledged to intensify efforts to attain the N8.5 trillion 2020 tax revenue target. Read more here.