October 05, 2020 / 11:30AM / Deloitte / Header Image Credit: Deloitte
The coronavirus pandemic has caused monumental disruptions to health, economies and businesses. Governments around the world responded with different stimulus packages and palliative measures based on each country's fiscal headroom and economic strength. Nigeria's Finance Ministry and Central Bank released different economic stimulus packages and palliative measures that are aimed at cushioning the impact of the pandemic.
Amidst the constraints of paucity of funds and the drive to raise non-oil tax revenue for the country, the response of Nigeria's Tax Authorities to the unprecedented challenge has focused on increasing the adoption of technology, extending timelines for the filing of returns, waiving of penalties and interest and other administrative measures. While the Federal Inland Revenue Service has led the charge in offering these administrative palliatives to taxpayers, a number of State Governments, through the relevant State Internal Revenue Service, have equally offered succour to taxpayers.
About 23 State Internal Revenue Services have issued public notices in recent times, offering COVID-19 palliative measures to taxpayers. The palliative measures, which include deferment of tax payment, extended timelines for filing tax returns, waiver of penalties and interest, are meant to assuage taxpayers' burden during this pandemic.
Many Tax Authorities adopted teleconferencing as the official mode for tax audit reconciliation meetings during the lockdown, in alignment with safety measures published by health agencies. The increased use of electronic channels and gradual digitisation of tax administration is an important development that should make tax collection more efficient.
The adoption of technology is gradually transforming the face of tax administration in Nigeria, leading to the optimisation of tax processes, with a potential increase in tax revenue. Improving and sustaining the digitalisation effort is critical to the overall drive for increased tax penetration and higher yields from tax collection.
This provides information about the palliatives offered by various Tax Authorities across the country. The compilation includes links to the public notices and information circulars from the relevant Tax Authorities. It is expected that Tax Authorities will provide updates and further guidelines in the days ahead.