Problems with the ‘Generous Directive’: Directive Remitting Tax Liabilities to Reduce Damage Caused by COVID-19 on Taxpayers
Posted: 21 May 2020
Date Written: May 17, 2020
Part of the Ethiopian government’s actions to reduce COVID-19’s effect on the economy is the recently issued directive to remit tax liabilities of taxpayers number 64/2020 (the “Directive”). This directive was issued by the Ministry of Finance pursuant to the mandate bestowed to it by the Federal Tax Administration Proclamation Number 983/2016. The purpose of the directive is to reduce the damage caused by COVID-19 on taxpayers. And, the tax liabilities subject to remission are tax liabilities of before and during 2018.
In order to utilize or decline from the directive’s benefits, taxpayers are required to notify their intention to the tax authority within a month i.e. until 5 June 2020. However, now on the eleventh day, and remaining with only nineteen days, taxpayers are facing some problems emanating from lack of clarity of the directive or miscommunication of different government offices.
This piece of work, therefore, sketches the problem that I came across in helping taxpayers and calls for an explanatory statement. Its scope is limited to the directive but on the sideline, it touches issues related to the power and manner of issuing directives.
Keywords: Tax law, Ethiopia, Tax remission
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