THE TAXAIDER NEWSLETTER VOL 3, ISSUE 3 (March 2021)

First Thoughts:

Of Quarters and Pennies

“Hey there, can I have a quarter?”

This line is quite familiar with Americans who find themselves having to use the slot machine in a café, supermarket, office, bank reception etc. A quarter basically is a 25-cent coin that could come in handy for very basic and meagre expenses – a chocolate bar, a Coke can etc. A quarter is of course worth way more than a penny which is just once cent. Over the years like in every other economy in the world, the value of the ‘quarter’ has also greatly reduced, and it can hardly buy you anything of serious value. However, its value in the slot machine can hardly be ignored.

The ease of slotting in the quarter in the machine and having your chocolate bar or can of Coke pop out are one of those bare necessities every American gets to enjoy. At that moment, you almost forget that the 25-cent coin is just a fourth part of a dollar. It is valuable to you at that very moment!

So, in a few days, we would have spent our first quarter of 2021. The final days of March are staring us in the face and the question for the day is: What did you buy with your own quarter? A chocolate bar? A can of Coke? Or was it just a quarter tossed out because it had no reasonable value attached to it?

Recently, I took ill and had to spend four days on admission in the hospital. Now, the last time I had to stay beyond one night in the hospital was as far back as 1994 when I was still a child. I had thought I had grown immune to such experiences and finding myself confined to a hospital bed and having to be cared and catered for like a child was a feeling I had to struggle with. What happened to my independence? In a flash, I was at the mercy of medical staff and in all fairness, they took good care of me. However, I just couldn’t wait to get out of there and be up on my feet again.

I realized that you only get to make some choices while you still have the time and strength for it and as such one should never take for granted those precious things we have – good health, strength and life itself, which I would equate with time. In fact, every one of our life’s experiences, actions and decisions is summed up in the concept of time. What do you do with your time while you still have it? I trust we would do better with the remainder three quarters of the year than we did with the first quarter.

Last month, I dwelt extensively with the Personal Income Tax (PIT) conversation and as at today, the deadline stands at 6 days from now. 31st March is just around the corner. Hope you do the needful and file your Annual Personal Income Tax Returns so you can avoid the penalties that come with non-compliance.

In this issue

  • We discuss more on the impending Personal Income Tax (PIT) Annual Returns Filing Deadline in the piece ‘How important is the filing of the Personal Income Tax Annual Returns Filing’.
  •  The Debt Management Office (DMO) says Nigeria ended the year 2020 with a public debt stock of N32.91 trillion.This means that public debt increased by N692 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to N32.223 trillion at the end of September 2020. Read more HERE
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria intervened in the foreign exchange market with sales of FOREX to dealers valued at $5.62 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. This was disclosed in the Q4 2020 economic report published by the Apex bank. Read more HERE
  • The Federal Government has announced the adoption of a new flexible exchange rate policy for official transactions in a major foreign exchange policy shift.
  • This move which effectively suggests the third devaluation of the naira within a year will see the government adopt the NAFEX rate for its official transactions. Read more HERE
  • Amid tepid growth, rising inflation and unemployment, the economy sits in a precarious position that requires urgent and strategic efforts. Read more HERE.

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Till next time

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