FIRS Gives Deadline on Tax Interests, Penalties Waiver

Muhammad Nami

James Emejo in Abuja

Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is to waive interests accruable to debts as well as the related penalties for defaulting taxpayers if they fully settle their indebtedness on or before May 31.

FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami, said in a statement yesterday that the concession was only valid for taxpayers who make full payments within the deadline.

He had previously directed businesses to commence payment of their annual returns earlier than the due date, apart from their normal monthly obligations.

The moves are part of the FIRS’ efforts to mobilise resources for the federal government whose fiscal power has been badly impaired by the drastic fall in global oil prices occasioned by the outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nami expressed FIRS’ commitment to continue to provide support to all taxpayers as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his nationwide broadcast to the country.

He had appealed to corporate bodies, especially telecommunications and financial services companies, manufacturers, e-commerce and supermarkets believed to be experiencing increased business activities despite the current lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, to pay their taxes early.

Earlier in March, he had reiterated the service’s commitment to meeting the N8.5 trillion revenue target for the year, despite current economic challenges.

Addressing members of staff at a retreat of Tax Operations Group, he urged them to take up the challenge and justify the confidence the country had reposed in the service particularly at this “critical time when virtually all the other sources of revenue for the government are being challenged, especially by the coronavirus pandemic, the downward slide in the price of oil at the international market for as low as $30 per barrel against $57 benchmark used for the budget.”

Nami said measures had been taken since assuming office to boost the welfare of the staff as well as encourage them to give their best to improve its revenue profile.

“We shall not relent in providing the right environment for you to succeed.

“When the federal government set the N8.5 trillion target, it must have realised that we are equal to the task. As the hub of the operations of the service, you are therefore expected to deliver the bulk of the target while the other groups support you,” he had added.