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

Muhammad Nami

James Emejo in Abuja

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

FIRS had earlier extended the deadline set 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 to June 30.

However, Nami, in a statement issued yesterday by Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Dr. Abdullahi 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 installment payment plans under Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) yet to be fully liquidated.”

He, however, said there would 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 August 31, 2020, in order to enjoy a waiver of accumulated penalties and interests.”

He also urged debtors to contact their respective tax controller or the nearest FIRS regional debt management office in case of further enquiries.

Nami had said the moves were part of FIRS’ efforts to mobilise resources for the federal government whose fiscal power had 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 earlier announced the resumption of audit, investigations, and monitoring exercises, earlier suspended as part of measures to cushion the impact of the pandemic.

FIRS had earlier announced the decision to waive accumulated penalties and interests for tax defaulters.
It had also directed businesses to commence payment of their annual returns earlier than the due date, apart from their normal monthly obligations.