COVID – 19: Okowa waives interests, penalties on tax

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has waived interests and penalties on established tax liabilities emanating from an audit carried out by the Delta State Internal Revenue Service from 2011-2019.
The development, which was announced in a ‎statement issued on Wednesday by the State Director of Information, Mr Dona Obuseh, is aimed at cushioning the impact of the economic downturn arising from the COVID – 19 ‎pandemic in the state.
The statement read, “It is hereby announced for the information of the general public, particularly the taxpaying public, that His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State, has approved a waiver of interest and penalties on established tax audit liabilities emanating from tax audit carried out by the Delta State Internal Revenue Service from 2011-2019.
“The waiver is in addition to the palliative measure published in the Vanguard and The Pointer newspapers of 28th May 2020, in line with government policy of ensuring peace, progress and prosperity of its citizens, especially in this period COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the waiver covers business concerns such as publishing houses, agricultural product companies, water producing companies, microfinance banks and private hospitals, maternities and health centres.
“Others are private primary and secondary schools, eateries and hotels, and companies that supply human labour to industries.
“Also, to further ease the impact of the pandemic on taxpayers, the governor has directed the Delta State Internal Revenue Service to allow case by case basis payment of outstanding tax liabilities in instalments to ease the burden of the lump-sum payment that could impact negatively on taxpayers’ finances.
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“Equally, the governor has approved the waiver of penalties for late payment of liabilities under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) that was due during the COVID-19 lockdown in the state from 1st April 2020 till 31st October 2020.
“To further ameliorate the negative impact of the pandemic, the governor also granted a waiver of penalties due on the late filing of the year 2020 annual tax returns known a ‘Form A”.
“In like manner, a 21% interest and 10% penalty waiver of interest and penalties on liabilities arising from 2009 to 2015 tax audit for a taxpayer who can pay up on or before 31st December 2020 will be implemented.
“The general public is hereby assured that Delta State Internal Revenue Service is committed, as always, to providing a conducive environment and support to taxpayers and to ensure that the burden of outstanding tax liabilities is eased off especially in this trying period.
“Accordingly, tax agents/consultants and staff of the Delta State Internal Revenue Service and other revenue-generating MDAs are advised to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of this policy.”
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