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As part of measures to tame the outbreak of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on March 23, 2020 released some measures that will provide effective service delivery to taxpayers with minimal physical contacts.

Part of the initiatives include rejigging of the e-tax platforms, provision of telephone numbers as well as creation of email IDs for correspondences with the various tax offices. The e-platforms allow filing of all tax returns online and payment of taxes without necessarily visiting the tax offices. Though, the various FIRS offices will still remain open to taxpayers who wish to visit physically. Appropriate medical measures have been put in place to ensure safety of both the taxpayers and FIRS staff.

In addition to providing alternative means of communicating with tax offices, the due date for filing Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax (WHT) returns has been extended to the last day of month following the month of deduction. The due date for filing Companies Income Tax returns has been extended by one month. Also, companies willing to file their tax returns without audited financial statements have been granted concession to do so. However, the audited accounts must be submitted not later than three months after the actual due date of filing.

We applaud these measures by FIRS as it will help curtail the risk associated with COVID-19. We implore all taxpayers to explore these alternative means of filing tax returns and communicating with the tax authority.