The Oyo State Government has announced tax relief packages for private and corporate businesses in the state to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinola Ojo, made the disclosure during a press conference on the ‘implementation of tax compliance relief programmes for individual taxpayers and businesses in Oyo State.

This came as the state indicated that it witnessed the worst economic hiatus between April and May when it grossed between N1.25bn and N1.5bn.

Akinola said the tax relief packages by the state included the extension of the deadline for filing of annual returns for individual taxpayers and self-employed persons from April 1 to August 31 and extension of the deadline for filing of annual returns of employees by the employers of labour from March 1 to August 31.

The government also approved a 75 per cent reduction in penalties and interests for hotels, educational institutions, tourist centres that file tax returns on or before August 31.

He said, “Tax agents or their consultants who, because of interstate restriction, could not attend tax audit reconciliation meeting with the state Internal Revenue Service were allowed to choose virtual meetings or seek postponement.”

On the IGR for the state, he said, “This has been in the region of about N2.3bn on the average.

“During the COVID-19 month, in April and May which was when we felt it most, our IGR dropped to as low as N1.25bn to N1.5bn. In June, as we were coming out of the lockdown or semi-lockdown, our IGR was about N2.6bn.

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“The goal of this administration is that before the end of this administration, our IGR should be in the region of about N6.2bn. We want to be able to cover our salary and wage bills with our IGR.”

This is as the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) announced that it has commenced the implementation of reliefs to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on taxpayers in the state.

The Executive Chairman of the agency, Mr Ayodele Subair, in a statement, said the reliefs were in addition to the two months’ extension of the deadline for filing of annual returns.

He said, “The LIRS shall allow on a case-by-case basis payment of outstanding liabilities by instalments to ease cash flow challenges that may affect taxpayers. Taxpayers are to enjoy a waiver of penalties for late payment of liabilities under PAYE (Pay As You Earn) that was due during the period of March to May 2020, when the state was under COVID-19 lockdown.

“In addition, a waiver of penalties due on late filing of 2020 annual tax returns known as Form A will be granted. A remarkable waiver of interest and penalties on liabilities arising from 2009 to 2015 tax audits for taxpayers who can pay up on or before December 31, 2020, will be implemented.”