By Dipo Olowookere The Lagos State government has announced a 20 per cent tax credit to those who donated cash and various items to support residents in the ongoing COVID-19 period. The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) in a statement on Tuesday said this was to show appreciation to those who stood solidly behind the state government in the time of need. \u201cIn appreciation of taxpayers that have supported the state government in the fight against the pandemic, the LIRS, through the Lagos State government, will be granting tax credit of 20 per cent of all cash and kind donations made towards COVID-19 by individuals resident in the state for the 2021 year of assessment (subject to a cap of 35 per cent of tax due),\u201d the Executive Chairman of LIRS, Mr Ayodele Subair, was quoted as saying in the statement. The agency noted that this was one of the additional tax incentives and reliefs it was implementing to support taxpayers in the metropolis. According to the tax-collecting agency, the incentives are in furtherance of the commitment to mitigate the negative effect of COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and businesses starting from Thursday, July 16, 2020. It noted that the additional measures and incentives are a sequel to the agency's initial 3-month extension of the deadline for filing of annual returns (from March 31 to June 30, 2020). \u201cThe following measures are to be implemented to further ease the impact of the pandemic on our esteemed taxpayers in Lagos state: LIRS shall allow on a case by case basis, payment of outstanding liabilities in instalments to ease cash flow challenges that may affect taxpayers. \u201cTaxpayers are to enjoy a waiver of penalty for late payment of liabilities under PAYE (Pay As You Earn) that was due during the period of March-May, 2020 when the State was under COVID-19 lockdown. \u201cIn addition, a waiver of penalties due on late filing of 2020 annual tax returns known as \u2018Form A\u2019 will be granted. \u201cA remarkable waiver of interest and penalty on liabilities arising from 2009 to 2015 tax audit for taxpayers who can pay up on or before December 31, 2020, will be implemented,\u201d the Chairman said. He further announced that additional payment channels have been opened up to make payment of taxes easier, simpler and more convenient for all. Mr Subair declared that video conferencing has been adopted as the default mode for conducting Tax Audit Reconciliation Committee (TARC) meetings in consonance with social distancing advisories from government and other relevant health authorities. He encouraged taxpayers to make use of the agency's digital communication platforms to get updates on its operations and details of all tax payment platforms. Also, he enjoined all businesses and individuals resident in Lagos State to take advantage of these additional palliatives and reciprocate the kind gestures of the state government by discharging their civic responsibilities through prompt payment of all taxes and levies due to the State. The LIRS urged the Lagos State residents to stay safe and obey all COVID-19 guidelines as stipulated by the relevant health authorities and Lagos State government.