Oyo State Government, on Monday, announced tax relief packages to private individuals and corporate businesses in the State, pursuant to further cushioning the effects of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic on the economy of the State.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinola Ojo, made the announcement in Ibadan, during a press conference tagged “Implementation of Tax Compliance Relief Programmes for Individual Taxpayers and Businesses in the State”.
The programme witnessed the presence of captains of industries and representatives of corporate and professional bodies at the Western Hall of Oyo State House of Assembly, Ibadan.
Akinola said the administration, under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde, has undertaken many efforts at making life better for residents, one of which includes, but is not limited to, the high-powered and professional institution of the Oyo State Covid-19 Task Force, made up of competent and experienced individuals from the health, security, media and other critical sectors of the society – as well as the upgrade and transformation of health facilities in the State.
The tax relief packages, according to the commissioner, includes the extension of deadline for filing of annual returns for individual taxpayers, including self-employed persons, for five months from April, 1, 2020. to August, 31, 2020; extension of the deadline for filing of annual returns of employees by the employers of labour, for six months, from March 1, 2020. to August 31, 2020.
Also, in the package, are waivers of penalties and interests for employers in the primary sector of the economy (agriculture, fishing, transportation and mining), who file tax returns on or before August, 31, 2020; and 50% 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.
In addition, the State Government also approved 75% reduction in penalties and interests for the service sector employers – hotels, educational institutions, tourist centers – that file tax returns on or before August, 31, 2020, insisting that tax agents were allowed to remit the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax to the extent of the staff strength, paid in each month of the Covid-19 era.
The commissioner disclosed the grant of 25% reduction in undisputed bill or assessment served or to be served by means of harmonized billing system of Oyo State Government to any business that intends to pay its bill on or before September, 30, 2020; 25% reduction in the Signage Motor Sticker of Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency.
He said tax agents or their consultants who, because of interstate restriction, could not attend tax audit reconciliation meeting with the State Internal Revenue Service, were allowed to choose virtual meetings or seek postponement.
He noted, further, that other reductions were as contained in the Home Owners’ Charter Land Programme of the State, which enables home owners across the State who do not have approved and official documents for their land, to apply and be granted a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) within 60 days of application, with less than 20% of regular charges and levies.
“Having critically studied the effects of the corona virus on the formal and informal sectors of our economy”, the commissioner continued, “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, Engr. Seyi Makinde, 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 the Governor.
“We therefore implore all tax taxpayers and businesses to take advantage of these tax reliefs by voluntarily attending to their civic responsibilities and paying all taxes, rates, fees, levies and charges to the bank accounts of Oyo State Government in any of the revenue collecting banks.”
Akinola admonished the general public to continue to stay safe by maintaining all the regulations against contracting the dreaded corona virus.
Wasiu Olatubosun (P.hd),
Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Ibadan.
Monday 27th, July 2020.