The newly sworn in Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki has approved a tax waivers of up to 50% for existing tax defaulters in the state. According to Leadership News, this waiver is expected to encourage these defaulters to clear up their debt on time, while the tax system is cleared up.
“On a final note, I agree with you, this is a new era. We are in a recession. Things are difficult and as a government that is listening, we must respond, but also, as a people, you must also reciprocate. Therefore, we will look at all outstanding tax liabilities. We will wave most of the interest and penalties that have accumulated and impact on what is outstanding.”
“Depending on the category, it is from the waiver that you will get up to 50 percent of what you owe provided that you also agree that you make the payment of what is outstanding within 90 days. We hope that you will also reciprocate by making sure that you clear all your tax arrears so that we do not take them into the new year (2017).”
Obaseki took this decision after considering the concerns raised by the representatives of taxpayers during a meeting they had with him over the weekend. During the meeting, other concerns related to wrong profiling and arbitral tax assessment were brought up by the taxpayers, concerns they said had negatively impacted on their businesses especially during this harsh economic period.
To tackle these problems, Obaseki promised that if defaulters could clear up their debts within the 90-day window, he would look into rectifying the tax system in such a manner that transparency will be guaranteed. This would include the opportunity for taxpayers to assess their taxes themselves and file returns on their own. In addition, staff will be recruited and trained to treat taxpayers in a friendly manner.
“We will be investing more in Information Communication technology (ICT). With ICT, you can assess yourself and file your returns on your own. We will be upgrading our different area offices across the City and the state to make sure that they serve you better. We will be training a lot of new employees who will treat you properly.”