Taxpayers to enjoy N.2m relief allowance, says FIRS

Taxpayers  are now entitled to a Consolidated Relief Allowance (CRA) of N200,000, a top official of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has said.

Coordinating Director, Field Operations of FIRS,  Samuel Ogungbesan, who stated this yesterday in Abuja at a workshop organised for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the amended Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), 2011, said the allowance was a major highlight of some “radical changes’’ introduced in the new PITA.

The Act mandates the President, the Vice President, Governors, their deputies and other political office holders to pay taxes on their allowances with effect from April.

He listed other highlights of the amended PITA to include a penalty of N5 million or imprisonment for three years or both for failure to confirm Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) from the tax authority that issued same, the introduction of Consolidated Relief Allowance of N200, 000 or 1 per cent of gross salary or whichever is higher plus 20 per cent of gross salary, and that all taxpayers are now mandatorily required to file self-assessment of their income tax returns.

Ogungbesan explained that the new law empowers the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct at source from budgetary allocation to MDAs the amount of tax that they failed to deduct and remit to the relevant tax body.

“The Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2011 introduced some radical changes into the administration of PITA, hence the need for this sensitisation exercise, so that all stakeholders will be familiar with these changes, and nobody will be caught on the wrong side of the law,’’ he said.

FIRS’ acting Chairman, Kabir Mashi who declared the workshop opened, said the workshop will provide a unique opportunity for participants to seek clarifications on the grey areas of the amended law. “Feel free to ask questions and make this workshop as interactive as possible so that at the end of the programme, we shall be better informed to discharge our responsibilities under the law,’’ he said.

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IMAGE: http://www.voiceofnigeria.org

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