Again, FIRS Extends Waiver on Penalties, Interest Payment to August 31

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By James Emejo

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, has announced further extension for the closing date of its waiver of penalty and interest window on tax debts owned by individuals and businesses from June 30 to August 31, 2020.

Earlier last month, the service had extended the deadline set to waive interests accruals to debts as well as the related penalties for defaulting taxpayers if they fully settle their indebtedness on or before May 31 till June 30.

However, Nami, in a statement issued Wednesday by the Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Dr. Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, said the latest extension was a follow up to a number of palliative measures devised by the FIRS to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy in order to support tax-paying individuals and business entities in the country.

However, he noted that the extension applies to “tax audit, tax investigation and desk review assessments, approved instalment payment plans under Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) yet to be fully liquidated”.

He further reminded taxpayers there will be no further extension of the current palliative measure, adding that “tax debtors are therefore enjoined to liquidate their outstanding tax liabilities on or before 31st August, 2020 in order to enjoy waiver of accumulated penalties and interests”.

He also advised all concerned individuals and businesses to contact their respective tax controller or the nearest FIRS regional debt management office in case of further enquiries.

Nami had said the moves are part of 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.

The service had announced the resumption of audit, investigations and monitoring exercises, earlier suspended as part of measures to cushion the impact of the pandemic.