Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Oyo State Government has announced tax relief packages to private and corporate businesses in the state in a bid to cushion the effect of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic on the state’s economy.
The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo, made the disclosure yesterday while addressing participants at a conference on the Implementation of Tax Compliance Relief Programmes for Individual Taxpayers and Businesses in Oyo State.
Akinola said the Administration of Governor Seyi Makinde, has undertaken many efforts to make life better for residents, which included the constitution of COVID-19 task force, the upgrading and equipping of health facilities and provision of needed incentives as palliative for the people.
He said the tax relief packages included the extension of the deadline for filing of annual returns for individual taxpayers, including self-employed persons, for five months from April 1st to August 31, 2020, the extension of the deadline for filing of annual returns of employees by their employers for six months, from March 1 to August 31, 2020.
The tax relief package also include waivers of penalties and interest for employers in the primary sector of the economy (agriculture, fishing, transportation and mining) who would file tax returns on or before August 31, 2020 and 50 per cent reduction in penalties and interests for employers in the secondary sector of the economy, such as food processing, beverages, sachet and bottle water producers who file tax returns on or before August 31, 2020.
He added that the state government also approved 75 per cent reduction in penalties and interests for the service sector employers, which include hotels, educational institutions, tourist centers that would file tax returns on or before August 31, 2020.
The commissioner clarified that tax agents were allowed to remit the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax to the extent of the staff strength that were paid in each month that COVID-19 has affected them.
He disclosed the granting of 25 per cent reduction in undisputed bill or assessment served or to be served by means of harmonised billing system of Oyo State Government to any business that intended to pay its bill on or before September 30, 2020, as well as 25 per cent reduction in the Signage Motor Sticker of Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency.
He said the tax agents or consultants, who, because of interstate restriction, could not attend tax audit reconciliation meeting with the State Internal Revenue Service, are allowed to choose virtual meetings or seek postponement.
He noted that other reductions are contained in the Home Owners’ Charter Land Programme of the state, which enabled home owners without approved and official documents for their land to apply and be granted a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) within sixty days of application with less than 20 per cent of regular charges and levies.
“Having critically studied the effects of the COVID-19 on the formal and informal sectors of our economy, we have recommended some measures which we believe would be of significant benefit to the people and businesses in Oyo State and the people’s governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, who has graciously approved the listed tax incentives and reliefs for tax payers in Oyo State.
“All the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Oyo State government have been duly informed of the implementation of the tax compliance incentives as listed and approved by His Excellency, the Executive Governor.