As part of measures to cushion the effect of the violent demonstrations that trailed the #EndSARS protests across the country, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has disclosed that it will grant additional tax palliatives to Nigerians.
In a memo addressed to the general public, the FIRS said the move will provide relief for companies and businesses that suffered disruption during the protests.
“Following the disruption to businesses which followed the recent protest across Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has issued a public notice (the Notice) granting an additional window for obtaining a waiver of interest and penalty on outstanding tax liabilities resulting from tax desk reviews, audit and/or investigations and self-assessments from 4 November to 31 December 2020,” the statement reads in part.
“This waiver only applies where taxpayers settle their outstanding tax liabilities (principal amount) on or before 31 December 2020.
According to the Notice, the FIRS said additional window granted for obtaining a waiver of interest and penalty on outstanding tax liabilities is necessary to provide some relief to businesses that have suffered disruptions as a result of the recent protest across the country, in addition to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The FIRS also reiterated that the palliatives earlier granted to companies are still in place.
They include extension of the filing and payment deadline for Withholding Tax and Value Added Tax returns from 21st day of the month to the last day of the month.
Similarly, the FIRS said taxpayers, who earn revenue in Nigerian Naira but are facing challenges in obtaining foreign exchange (Forex) for use in offsetting their tax liabilities, can pay their outstanding tax liabilities in Naira at the prevailing Investors and Exporters (I&E) Forex window rate on the day of payment.
“The palliatives introduced by FIRS is a welcome development for taxpayers as it demonstrates FIRS’ sensitivity to the disruptions experienced by businesses. Taxpayers are encouraged to take advantage of this window of opportunity to plan their tax affairs accordingly,” it said.
The #EndSARS protests, organised by Nigerian youth against police brutality and other abuses perpetrated by the defunct SARS and other police units, were largely peaceful until hoodlums hijacked it to unleash violence on some parts of the country.