FIRS SAYS FINANCE ACT 2021 CRITICAL TO ADDRESSING BUDGET FUNDING

FIRS SAYS FINANCE ACT 2021 CRITICAL TO ADDRESSING BUDGET FUNDING

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has said that the Finance Act 2021 was critical to addressing budget funding, a measure that it would achieve by collaborating with taxpayers and key stakeholders.

The FIRS made this known in a statement issued on Friday, in Abuja, by Johannes Wojuola, Special Assistant on Media and Communication to its Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami.

It said FIRS’ Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami, who disclosed this at a KPMG webinar focusing on Nigeria’s 2022 Budget and the Finance Act 2021, noted that the Act provided a framework for equitable treatment, automation and deployment of ICT infrastructure.

According to the statement, FIRS would leverage on the Finance Act 2021, and collaborate with stakeholders and taxpayers to ensure adequate funding of the country’s budget while raising the requisite financing for national development.

It explained that FIRS, as the single agency for tax collection, taxation of the digital economy, among other critical interventions, was for improved tax administration in the country.

The statement reads in part: “In the past, situations abound where certain goods or services streamed into Nigeria by non-resident companies, especially to consumers (B2Cs), were not subject to VAT.

“This raised the issue of equity, as goods and services offered by domestic companies were subject to VAT.

“With the amendment of Section 10 of the VAT Act and our publication of the ‘Guidelines on Simplified VAT Compliance Regime for Non-Resident Suppliers’, there is now a mechanism for applying VAT on such goods or services, affording the same tax treatment to both local and foreign suppliers.

“Similarly, companies deriving income from Nigeria without physical presence can now be assessed, like other companies with physical presence, on fair and reasonable percentage of their turnover in line with Section 30 of the CITA.

“On automation of tax processes, the amendment of Section 25 of the FIRS Establishment Act, the Service can now deploy either proprietary or third-party developed technologies for tax administration. Those that may still stand in the way of achieving this objective will now be liable to a daily penalty of N25,000.

“With the extension of secrecy and confidentiality requirements to other persons, like service providers, vendors and consultants of the Service, the fear of taxpayers are further allayed on the secrecy and confidentiality of their commercial and other information,” Nami explained.

Nami further noted that with the amendment to Section 68 of the FIRS Establishment Act by the Finance Act, complaints from taxpayers about multiple agencies of government demanding payment of tax from them had been addressed.

According to him, the unfortunate situation was not in line with the national tax policy thrust and was causing confusion for taxpayers and increasing their cost of compliance.

He, however, said the amendment to Section 68 of the FIRS Act by the Finance Act 2021 had made it clear that FIRS was the only agency responsible for tax assessment, collection and enforcement.

“As such, taxpayers are to expect a streamlined tax administration regime going forward.

“It will also reduce the prevalence of tax abuse in incentive management in the country,” the statement quoted Nami as saying.

Nami further said that the Service would deploy compliance and enforcement strategies, as well as leverage on intelligence and strategic data mining and analysis, to provide intelligence and information to enhance its audit and investigation functions.

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