A Series on Tax Reliefs Part 1

A few months back, I heard the story of a young man who was in a rather unfortunate situation. I could only sympathize with his predicament. Before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted economic and business activities in the country, this young man had a stable job but had undergone an interview with a prospective new employer in the hope of securing a better job. Based on his performance at the interview, he had been given assurances that he would get the job. However, he was yet to receive an employment letter. This young man went ahead to quit his job at the time and was waiting for the call from his “new employers”. Fast-forward to a few months later; this young man was told that the new company could not offer him the job as the COVID-19 pandemic had seriously affected their operations and ability to recruit new personnel.

I would not attempt to get into an argument of who is right or who is wrong or if the young man made a right or wrong choice. The point of this story is to determine the way forward not just for the young man but also for the organization and many other organizations who have found themselves in a similar situation as a result of the ongoing pandemic. If I was in charge of making this decision, I might have just come out to say give all organizations tax holidays for the next 6 months to 1 year. However, the Federal Government and various State Governments (through their Internal Revenue Services) who are in charge of making these important decisions regarding the way forward have given various tax reliefs to affected organizations to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 on Organizations, Businesses, and Individuals.

In this series, we will be taking a look at some of the relevant Tax Reliefs that have been implemented by the Federal Government and various State Governments.

Federal Government of Nigeria (Federal Inland Revenue Service)

The Federal Government through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has granted various tax reliefs and palliatives to taxpayers. You can view some of the tax reliefs in which their due dates have passed here. Here are some of the on-going tax reliefs:

  • Extension of the deadline for submitting the 2019 Information Returns by Reporting Financial Institutions from 31st May 2020 to 30th September 2020. In line with the provisions of the Income Tax (CRS) Regulations 2019 which obligates all Reporting Financial Institutions to prepare and submit an annual report on Reportable Accounts Information (Information Returns) to the FIRS.
  • Further extension of the deadline for the waiver of penalty and interest arising from outstanding tax debts from 30th June to 31st August 2020.
  • Extension of the timeline for the filing of WHT and VAT returns to the last working day of the month, following the month of deduction as opposed to the statutory period of 21 days after the month of deduction
  • Extension of the due date for filing Company Income Tax Returns by one month i.e. seven months after the financial year end, e.g. companies with a 31 December accounting year end have up till July 31, 2020 to file returns for 2020 Year of Assessment;
  • Taxpayers can file their returns with the FIRS without an audited account, provided that the relevant audited accounts are submitted within two months after the revised due date of filing.

You can find more updates on this in our previous bulletins and blog posts. You can also reach out to us for relevant information and updates via email on: intelandcomms@localhost or on phone at 0700TAXAIDE.

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