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Oyo govt. approves tax relief for private sector



Seyi Makinde

Oyo State Government has announced tax relief packages for private and corporate businesses operating in the state.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinola Ojo, announced the incentives when addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Monday.

Ojo said that the tax relief was meant to implement Tax Compliance Relief Programme for individual taxpayers and businesses in the state.

He added that the tax relief was to further cushion the effect of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic on the state’s economy.

According to the commissioner, the tax relief packages include extension of the deadline for the filing of annual returns for individual taxpayers, including self-employed persons for five months – April 1 to August 31, 2020.

“Extension of the deadline for filing of annual returns of employees by the employers of labour for six months -March 1to August 31, 2020.

“Also in the package are waivers of penalties and interest for employers in the primary sector of the economy –agriculture, fishing, transportation and mining, who should 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, sachets and bottle water producers, who should file tax returns on or before August 31, 2020.

“Furthermore, the state government also approved 75 per cent reduction in penalties and interests for the service sector employers which include hotels, educational institutions, tourist centres that should file tax returns on or before August 31, 2020.

“The tax agents are allowed to remit the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax to the extent of the staff strength that are paid in each month that COVID-19 has affected them,”Ojo said.

The commissioner further disclosed that the grant of 25 per cent 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 intended to pay its bill on or before September 30, 2020

He also announced a 25 per cent reduction in the Signage Motor Sticker of Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency.

He further stated that 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.

On tax relief for Home Owners’ Charter land programme of the state, Ojo announced less than 20 per cent of regular charges and levies for applicants.

“Having critically studied the effects of the Coronavirus 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 Gov 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 account of any of the revenue collecting banks,” he urged.

The commissioner asserted that the administration of Gov. Seyi Makinde has undertaken many efforts at making life better for residents which included setting up of COVID-19 task force; “which comprised individuals from the health, security and other critical sectors of the society.

“Also upgraded and equipped health facilities, as well as providing needed incentives as palliative for the people,” he said.

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