By Codratus Godson
The Rivers State government seems to be the first state government to roll out a comprehensive tax palliative package to all classes of taxpayers (not PAYEE) in the state. This has provoked the applause of the body that regulates taxes practice who said Rivers is also ahead in showing the taxpayers what their taxes have done.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation in Nigeria (CITN) has appealed to the federal government to consider a tax-free year to Nigerian firms as palliative to cushion the crushing impact of Covi-19.
As professionals who look at books of companies, the institute says most Nigerian companies cannot afford even to pay for tax advice.
The president of the institute, Olajumoke Simplice, spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where the CITN is holding its first council meeting outside Lagos. The three-day meeting is holding at Faarah Coffee Lounge near Garrison in the Garden City.
Olajumoke said many countries are so far giving different palliatives, saying the taxpayer needs to survive and resume paying taxes.
She disclosed that CITN is looking at suggestions to table before the FG after the PH meeting, saying the areas have already been penciled down for discussion.
Olajumoke, who is also the President of the West African Union of Tax Institute, said the CITN is behind 90 per cent of tax and finance laws being rolled out in Nigeria including the 2019 Finance Act and others.
She said Covid-19 issues have necessitated amendment of the Finance Act and that suggestions would be tables from PH meeting, adding that their members are right now offering free tax advice because firms can hardly afford paying.
The CITN president hailed the tax palliative recently given to Rivers businesses by the Rivers State government led by Gov Nyesom Wike who suspended informal taxes and reduced most other to 50 per cent as well as moving the 2020 filing deadline to December 2020.
She said tax payers need evidence that their tax is being put to good use, saying that Gov Wike has provided more than enough to motivate Rivers tax payers.
The state has embarked on massive road construction and recently flagged off construction of five flyovers in the state capital by a world class construction company (Julius Berger).