By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
To meet up with the state’s current economic realities, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state on Friday signed a revised 2020 appropriation bill of N164 billion.
Also approved by the governor were tax relief for business as well the suspension of levies for tax payers to cushion the effects Covid-19 pandemic.
While appending his signature on the state’s revised Appropriation Bill document before the commencement of the state Executive Council meeting, Tambuwal expressed satisfaction “with the new document which went through the mandatory legislative procedures.”
However, the earlier appropriation document was N202,345,425,942.68.
Briefing reporters shortly after the Exco meeting, the state Commissioner for Finance, Abdussamad Dasuki said the state government also provided tax reliefs and incentives for tax payers and businesses to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on residents and businesses operating in the state.
Dasuki disclosed that electronic payment platforms had been introduced by the state government to ease and enable tax payers pay their taxes from the comfort of their homes and offices with less exposure to the vagaries of the Covid-19 pandemic.
” The state government has also suspended the annual tax audit exercise for educational and entertainment sectors from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020.”
Hitherto, the Commissioner explained that the govenment has extended the collection of land use charge for residential and commercial properties in the state from March 1, 2020 to September 30,2020.
In addition to the reliefs according to Dasuki, ” the deadline for businesses to file their 2019 annual tax returns has been extended from March 1, 2020 to September 30.
” Also the penalty on late filling of 2020 annual returns for all businesses operating in the state has been suspended till September 30, 2020″, he stated.
He also maintained that the waived penalty and interest charges on late filling and remittance of monthly Pay As You Earn (PAYE) have equally been waived from 1st March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
Dasuki also disclosed the state government has suspended the imposition of presumptive tax levied on all businesses operating in the informal sectors from April 1, 2020 till December 31, 2020.
Other levies suspended by the government according to the Commissioner include the payment of N100 state development levy imposed on every taxable person for the year 2020 and the payment and deduction of water rates from the incomes of public servants, the public sector and private individuals in the state for two months (April to May 2020).
Accordingly , the state government also waived 50% charge on fees and levies collectable across the state from March 1, 2020 till January 2021.
“The gestures are opportunities provided to the general public by the government to stimulate optimum utilization of economic resources.”
To this end, he said all beneficiaries should adhere to all the safety guidelines and regulations on Covid-19 pandemic, as stipulated by the government.