Nigerians have been reacting to the circular from the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, to taxpayers over payment of taxes.
The circular, which was an update on palliative measures to cushion the effect of covid-19 on taxpayers, asked corporate organizations in some sectors of the economy to consider making payment of their annual returns earlier than the due date apart from their normal monthly obligations.
According to the circular, the Executive Chairman said, ‘’I wish to specially make an appeal to corporate bodies in the sectors above to go the extra mile at this time to cooperate with us in making special arrangements to pay their taxes. They may consider, for instance, a situation where they can commence payment of their annual returns earlier than the due date apart from their normal monthly obligations.’’
‘’This has become necessary in order to ease some of the cash flow gaps being experienced by the government at this critical time’’.
Some Nigerians took to Twitter to expressed their anger as they believe the government is insensitive to what Nigerians and businesses are going through.
A tweeter user was unhappy as the government is using FIRS to tax companies that are barely surviving.
Nigeria is just a country powered by Idiots. After failing to diversify the economy, stealing every aid and returned loot this government feels the best way to make more money this period is to use the FIRS to tax companies barely surviving in order to support their cash flow gap pic.twitter.com/V4U2XiKNJi
— Kindly Follow Back (@Naijadailyfeedx) April 25, 2020
Ayo Bankole, was wondering if we are ok in this country and advised Nigerians not to read the statement by the FIRS Chairman.
Don’t bother reading this if you’re looking for anything on palliatives. The summary is FIRS concluded on its own w/o waiting for official data, that some sectors are experiencing a boom & therefore want to COLLECT TAXES before due date. You’re wondering if we are ok? We are not. https://t.co/CFtHM93agn
— Ayò Bánkólé (@AyoBankole) April 25, 2020
Another tweeter user wanted the government to explain how some of those sectors can boom in a locked-down economy.
The 'whole' country is on lockdown. And most businesses are closed. Can the #firs explain to us, in plain Caesar's words, how a 'locked-down' economy translates to 'boom' to, for example, financial institutions?
— Nwanneka_Okoro (@obininwanneka) April 25, 2020
Dr, Olawale, was expecting FIRS to give tax cuts at this period rather than ask for the tax to be paid before the due date.
One would expect the FIRS to give them tax cuts so that Telecoms can slash the prices of data and other services, which is in high demand at the moment, directly bringing relief to the Nigerian citizen.
But then, I hardly expect most Nigerian Parastatals to have sense. https://t.co/pT9lZCSEai
— Dr. Olawale Star 🌟 Doctor (@olawalesmd) April 25, 2020
Another tweeter user said that government on their own has already determined that businesses are experiencing a boom.
Buhari's FIRS on it own determined that business are "experiencing boom" during a pandemic and then went ahead to ask for taxes to be paid EARLY, based on the figment of it's own imagination.
— Ikenna Ronald Nzimora (@ronaldnzimora) April 25, 2020
However, some Nigerians feel differently. They agree that some sectors are enjoying a boom due to the coronavirus lockdown.
A tweeter user Obinna Nwosu, feels that the Telcos and Nigerian banks are making a huge profit and so should pay the tax.
Nigerian Banks and Telcos are reporting huge profits in Q1 2020. Presently, we all buy recharge card from our banks, they have collected d commision of "daily bread" sellers sitting hungry at home due to COVID-19. FIRS should go and collect taxes from Banks and Telcos cashing out pic.twitter.com/ve2GjRUvXT
— Obinna Nwosu (@obi_Nwosu) April 25, 2020
A tweeter user, Dr Thompson Udenwa, is not happy with people’s negative reaction towards FIRS move, as he believes some of those sectors are making a lot of money.
I am so pissed off right now. To think that some are angry with FIRS! Telecommunications companies are making a kill right now: more phone calls, more data purchases, as people use their devices more during the pandemic. Is it wrong to as them to pay their taxes? Common pic.twitter.com/RwTCE0LKB6
— Dr. Thompson Udenwa (@TomUdenwa) April 25, 2020