Cross River Unveils Covid-19 Tax Palliatives

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The Cross River State government has announced a package of relief and incentives for individual taxpayers and businesses in the state, following an approval by the Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade.

The Commissioner for Finance, Asuquo Ekpenyong, in a statement explained that the relief package in the form of exemptions would cover the period from February – December 2020.

While breaking down the incentives, the Executive Chairman, CRIRS, Akpanke Ogar, stated that individuals in the public sector (under the Pay-As-You-Earn scheme) earning less than N100,000 are granted tax relief from Personal Income Tax, in line with the provisions of the Cross River State Tax exemption law 2015 (as amended), while self-employed persons (artisans, hawkers, okada riders, tricycle riders, taxi drivers, petty shops, barbing/hair dressing salon owners, restaurants/eateries) are also granted tax reliefs in line with the provisions of the CRS Tax exemption law 2015.

He also stated that taxpayers would be allowed to make instalmental payments in 2020 for outstanding tax liabilities from 2018 – 2019 over a period not exceeding six months.

The Chairman also said the deadline for the submission of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) annual returns by employers of labour in the state for the 2019 tax year was extended to September, 30th, 2020, with waivers granted on penalties.

Other taxes, levies and fees received varying degrees of rebates from 50 per cent to 100 per cent.

In his remarks, the President of the Calabar Chamber of Commerce (CALCCIMA) Eta Ndoma-Egba, commended government for the budget review and the tax reliefs, noting that the Chamber had long advocated for these, and it came at the right time, as both the state and businesses were grappling with the challenges of COVID 19 economy. He also emphasised the need to plug revenue leakages to ensure that government maximises its internally generated revenue profile.