COVID-19: Message from the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami to Taxpayers

Dear Taxpayers

As you are all aware, Nigeria has so far recorded more than thirty cases of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  This global pandemic is already impacting social, economic and other activities across the world.  In Nigeria, the Federal Government through its relevant agencies such as the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is doing all it can to contain and minimize the spread of the virus in Nigeria and we are confident their efforts would be successful. 

On our part at FIRS, we have launched our business continuity plan (BCP), and we are taking measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff, taxpayers, stakeholders and visitors.  

As our key stakeholder, please note that while our offices remain open, we have taken concrete steps to support you during these challenging times, whilst minimizing any disruption to tax administration and taxpayer services.  To this end, we wish to inform you that:

The FIRS has various e-platforms for filing of tax returns, payment of taxes and application for Tax Clearance Certificates and we urge taxpayers to, as much as possible, utilise such e-platforms. This will not only relieve taxpayers of the need to physically visit tax offices for this purpose but also more efficient and timely delivery.

Taxpayers are at liberty to engage with the FIRS, via electronic mail (e-mail), in line with the Finance Act, 2020.  Taxpayers can also contact us on the FIRS Contact Centre on 0909 74444444 or 0909 71111111.  If you still require visiting any of our offices, we ask that you adhere strictly to globally recommended social distancing rules and be aware that the following general hygiene practices will be applied:

All meetings with taxpayers are limited to no more than ten (10) people at a time.   

All FIRS offices are being equipped with infrared temperature measuring devices. Staff, taxpayers and all visitors entering our premises will be screened with a temperature scanner at all entry points. Persons with temperatures higher than 37.5°C may be denied access to the facility.  Please note that the screening will be conducted by trained personnel and without physical contact.  

All FIRS offices have been equipped with hand sanitizers, and we expect taxpayers to make use of these ahead of engaging with our staff.  We also have hand washing liquids and soaps in our restrooms.

Additional procedures have been put in place and will be utilized to ensure that all our offices and work surfaces are regularly cleaned and sanitized, using appropriate disinfectants recommended by the NCDC and the World Health Organization.  

Our staff have also been provided with additional protective gear such as gloves and face masks where required.  

The Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria have also issued various palliatives to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the economy. The FIRS will require full cooperation and support from all our taxpayers in order to collect revenue that Government will utilise to continue to provide infrastructure, health services and other palliatives to all Nigerians.

On our part, we will continue to work with relevant agencies of Government to provide necessary reliefs to taxpayers to lessen the impact of this pandemic on businesses and other economic activities by taxpayers.  To this end, we are offering the following palliatives to our taxpayers:

The FIRS is extending the timeline for filing of value added tax and withholding tax to the last working day of the month, following the month of deduction.  

The due date for filing Companies Income Tax returns is hereby extended by one month.  

Tax payers already registered on e-filing platform are at liberty to submit all returns via efiling.firs.gov.ng, alternatively please submit your returns to:

For: a) Large taxpayers – oil & gas (Upstream) = ltoupstream@firs.gov.ng

b) Large taxpayers – oil & gas (Downstream) = ltodownstream@firs.gov.ng

c) Large taxpayers – oil & gas (Servicing) = ltoservicing@firs.gov.ng

d) Large taxpayers – non oil (financial) = ltononoilfinancial@firs.gov.ng

e) Large taxpayers – non oil (Manufacturing) = ltononoilmanufacturing@firs.gov.ng

 f) Large taxpayers – Abuja= ltoabuja@firs.gov.ng

g) Large taxpayers – Kano= ltokano@firs.gov.ng

h) large taxpayers – Ibadan= ltoibadan@firs.gov.ng

i) Large taxpayers – Port Harcourt= ltoportharcourt@firs.gov.ng

j) All Medium taxpayers = mto@firs.gov.ng

k) All Small and Micro taxpayers = msto@firs.gov.ng

l) All Government Business taxpayers = mto@firs.gov.ng

j) All Stamp Duty taxpayers = stampduty@firs.gov.ng

Taxpayers who wish to file their returns with the FIRS without an audited account can file same, provided that the relevant audited accounts are submitted unfailingly within two months after the revised due date of filing.  

The FIRS also intend to publish on its website, information requests for desk reviews and tax audits, and create a portal where such information can be uploaded to our database for online access review.  

The Management and Board of the FIRS will continue to monitor the situation and abide by the federal, state and local authorities’ instructions on COVID-19.   Be rest assured that we will constantly update you on developments, that may affect your businesses, well-being and the Service.  In addition, where the need arises, appropriate action would be taken by Management if the situation portends immediate threat to you, our staff and visitors to our offices. 

The humankind has surmounted various challenges throughout history, and we believe that COVID-19 is not an exception.  As we draw strength and hope from each other, let us continue to pray for the safety of all Health Workers, Doctors and Scientists, trying to develop a vaccine for this virus.  The Management and Board of the FIRS is confident that we will emerge stronger as a Race from this experience.  

I pray for your safety and that of your loved ones, and trust that you will be vigilant and keep yourself, family members and friends safe. 

Thank you all

SI Magazine

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