The Cross River State government has announced a package of reliefs and incentives for individual Taxpayers and businesses in the state approved by the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade. This regime of Tax incentives has been provided as one of many avenues for cushioning the impacts of the novel COVID 19 Pandemic, currently ravaging most parts of the world.
At a Press Conference addressed by the Commissioner for Finance, and the Executive Chairman of the Internal Revenue Service, the government also announced a review of its 2020 budget downwards to N147, 130,166,966.
The Commissioner for Finance, Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr, explained that the relief package in the form of exemptions would cover the period from February – December 2020.
While breaking down the incentives, the Executive Chairman, CRIRS, Akpanke Ogar, stated that individuals in the public sector (under the Pay-As-You-Earn scheme) earning less than N100, 000 are granted Tax relief from Personal Income Tax, in line with the provisions of the Cross River State Tax exemption law 2015 (as amended), while self-employed persons (artisans, hawkers, okada riders, tricycle riders, taxi drivers, petty shops, barbing/hair dressing salon owners, restaurants/eateries) are also granted Tax reliefs in line with the provisions of the CRS Tax exemption law 2015.
He also stated that Taxpayers would be allowed to make installment payments in 2020 for outstanding Tax liabilities from 2018 – 2019 over a period not exceeding 6 months.
The Chairman also mentioned that the deadline for the submission of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) annual returns by employers of labour in the state for 2019 Tax year has been extended to 30th September, 2020, with waivers granted on penalties.
Other Taxes, levies and fees received varying degrees of rebates from 50% – 100%.
In his remarks, the President of the Calabar Chamber of Commerce (CALCCIMA) Eld. Eta Ndoma-Egba commended the government for the budget review and the Tax reliefs, noting that the Chamber had long advocated for these, and it came at the right time, as both the state and businesses were grappling with the challenges of COVID 19 economy. He also emphasized the need to plug revenue leakages to ensure that the government maximizes its internally generated revenue profile.
The CRIRS is the revenue collection agency of Cross River State and has since inception, launched various dynamic initiatives aimed at actualizing its vision of being among the leading revenue collection services in Nigeria, towards facilitating the overall development of Cross River State.