Finance Act: Elite to pay more as FIRS pursues fair tax regime

Image result for FirsA tax expert, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele has said that contrary to widely held notion the new finance act will see the rich in Nigeria paying more taxes.

Mr. Oyedele, who said this when he delivered a paper titled “Strategies for implementing the New VAT Regime” noted that unlike before, the “well-to-do would now pay their fair share of taxes in the country.”

According to a statement made available to the media in Abuja on Sunday by Director of Communications, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila, Oyedele noted that erroneous public apprehension that the new 7.5 per cent VAT would impact negatively on poor Nigerians was not correct.

Oyedele fore grounded the key to building this fair, equitable tax system in transparency, accountability, integrity, work and objectivity to build confidence in taxpayers and stakeholders in the tax sector.

Resident Muhammadu Buhari had early this year signed the Nigerian Tax and Fiscal Law (Amendment) Bill 2019 otherwise known as the Finance Bill into law. The new law contains over 90 changes to 7 different tax laws including: an increase in the rate of VAT from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent; 0% CIT rate for small businesses and a lower rate of 20 per cent for medium-sized companies; requirement for TIN to open and operate a business bank account; increase in the threshold of online transfers liable to stamp duty of N50 from N1,000 to N10,000; taxation of foreign entities involved in digital transactions with significant economic presence in Nigeria.

Presently, Nigeria stands at the threshold of a new, transparent, accountable and fair tax regime in which those who make more from the system pay a more equitable share of their income as tax towards the public good, especially in lifting 100 Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

Earlier, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, in presenting the Service organigram disclosed that many posts were vacant and open to the FIRS officials.

Nami charged staff to distinguish themselves in the shortest possible time by meeting set collection targets in order to take up these available positions of higher responsibilities, stressing that the vacancies are strictly available on measurable merit and performance criteria only.

On Friday, the FIRS helmsman had disclosed that “For the year 2020, we have a target of N8.5 trillion. This is broken down into oil tax of N3.7 trillion and non-oil taxes target of N4.8 trillion.”

He further said that he and his board have also set a target of improving the Service’s performance

over the next four years by a “minimum target of $5 million staff-to-revenue- ration and a 10 per cent tax-to-GDP ratio, adding that the Nigeria was gradually itself of over dependence on oil revenue. He said non oil taxes accounted for 60 per cent contribution to the total taxes collected in 2019.