By Onuminya Innocent
- Approves tax relief for businesses, suspends levies for taxpayers
The Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has signed a revised 2020 Appropriation Bill amounting to over N164 billion into law.
Speaking with journalists after the State Executive Council meeting Friday, the Commissioner for Finance, Abdussamad Dasuki, said the governor signed the Appropriation Bill before the commencement of the meeting at Government House, Sokoto.
With this development, the earlier appropriation document of N202,345,425,942.68 has been scaled down to N164,394,394,817,90 to meet up with the current realities of the state economy.
Dasuki said Governor Tambuwal expressed satisfaction “with the new document which went through the mandatory legislative procedures”.
He said in addition to the budget revision, the state government has also provided tax reliefs and incentives for taxpayers and businesses to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on residents and businesses operating in the state.
According to him, the state government has introduced electronic payment platforms where taxpayers can pay their taxes from the comfort of their homes and offices with less exposure to the vagaries of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The commissioner added that the government has also suspended the annual tax audit exercise for educational and entertainment sectors from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020.
He also explained that the government has extended the collection of land use charges for residential and commercial properties in the state from March 1, 2020 to September 30,2020.
In the same vein, the deadline for businesses to file their 2019 annual tax returns has been extended from March 1, to September 30, 2020, while the penalty for late filling of 2020 annual returns for all businesses operating in the state have been suspended till September 30, 2020.
Abdussamad also maintained that the waived penalty and interest charges on late filling and remittance of monthly Pay As You Earn (PAYE) have equally been waived from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
He also said the government has suspended the imposition of presumptive tax levied on all businesses operating in the informal sectors from April 1 to December 31, 2020.
Other levies suspended by the government, according to the commissioner, include the payment of N100 state development levy imposed on every taxable person for the year 2020 and the payment and deduction of water rate from the income of public servants, the public sector and private individuals in the state for two months (April to May 2020).
The government also waived 50 per cent charge on fees and levies collectable across the state from March 1, 2020 till January 2021.
“The gestures are opportunities provided to the general public by the government to stimulate optimum utilization of economic resources.
“In return, all beneficiaries are expected to adhere to all the safety guidelines and regulations on Covid-19 pandemic, as stipulated by the government,” the commissioner said.