THE TAXAIDER NEWSLETTER VOL 2, ISSUE 4 (APRIL 2020)

First Thoughts: Much Ado About Changes!

In my last editorial exactly five weeks ago today, I mentioned that I was writing from somewhere besides my office desk for the first time in a while. Well, that has not changed much, except that I am not exactly writing from my reading table at home this time but of course, I am still at home like many of you probably are. It’s been six weeks and counting now since I started ‘remote working’ along with my work colleagues and millions of people all over the world.

If anything at all, the new reality has shown that sometimes, our big and fancy offices and our physical presence in these offices might just be overrated after all. While business revenues have been significantly affected across the globe due to the impact of the pandemic, people have been able to work regardless aided by technology. Virtual meeting platforms have become the norm more than the exception.

Further speaking about changes, I also recall that in my last editorial on 26th March, I quoted that ‘as at 6.55pm Nigerian time on that day, there were 510,645 total cases, 23,079 total deaths and 122,245 recoveries reported worldwide. Today, exactly five weeks later, as at 2.43pm Nigerian time, there are 3,244,595 total cases, 229,182 deaths and 1,016,419 recoveries. I would represent this information in the table below.

   March 26  April 30 Change % Increase
Total Cases               510,645             3,244,595                 +2,733,950 535.39%
Total Deaths                 23,079                229,182                    +206,103 893.03%
Recoveries               122,245             1,016,419                    +894,174 731.46%

Source: Worldometers

It is not my intention to scare you with these figures but to make you understand that we should be more careful than ever at this time. It is baffling that some naysayers still think the Covid-19 pandemic is not real but a ploy by some powers that be to enrich themselves. I have no words for them at this time. Please, stay safe. Ensure you take all relevant precautions including washing your hands regularly, use of face masks and maintaining social distancing. This is particularly important now that the lockdown order is being relaxed with effect from Monday, 4th May 2020 across some states in Nigeria, particularly the more affected states like Lagos, Ogun and Abuja. We continue to pray that these times pass and very soon too.

The palliative measures by the Federal Government and various State governments as well as relevant tax authorities  are still in place and over the next few weeks, we would be running a series on the available tax incentives you stand to enjoy as an individual, a business owner or part of a corporate entity. Stay tuned to our TaxThursday bulletins, our website and of course our mobile application, TBook.

Please be reminded that the deadline for Financial Institutions to file Information Returns on all Reportable Accounts maintained in their Financial Institution in 2019 to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is barely a month away on May 31, 2020. At this time, we have no information of any change in this date and we would be sure to inform you if this changes. Please reach out to us on any of our available channels to ensure your Financial Institution is compliant.

In this issue:

  • Regarding the May 31st deadline for the FIRS’ Common Reporting Standard filing for Financial Institutions, we reproduce our detailed article, ‘Nigeria’s Common Reporting Standards – 6 Crucial Things Your Financial Institution Should Know’ which gives a detailed insight on the subject. You can also watch the accompanying video on this here.
  • Still on the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy, Oke David, a young lawyer, virtual intern at Citi and also a good friend of the house writes an interesting article titled: ‘COVID-19, the Saudi-Russia oil Stand-off and the Nigerian Economy’. Trust me, it is an enlightening and thought-provoking piece.
  • The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has achieved great strides in its Q1 2020 tax collections, recording a 15% increase to stand at N1.2 trillion compared to Q1 2019 (N1.046 trillion). Read more here
  • President Buhari has announced a gradual easing of Lagos, Ogun, Abuja lockdown which would begin on May 04, 2020. Read more here.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a loan of US$3.4bn to help Nigeria combat COVID-19 and support the Federal Government following the impact the declining global oil price is having on the Nigerian economy. Read more here.

Please don’t forget to follow us on Social Media. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We appreciate your feedbacks as usual. Please continue to send them. Feel free to read more of our publications on our website. You can email us on intelandcomms@taxaide.com.ng or if you prefer, call us on 0700TAXAIDE.

Till Next Time

GB (g.sile@taxaide.com.ng)