FIRS warns businesses against tax evasion as VAT increase takes effect

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has warned businesses and individuals against tax evasion.

This admonition was stated on Saturday, February 1; as the implementation of the new 7.5 percent; Value Added Tax commences.

An increase in VAT was announced by the Federal Government as part of the tax reforms; included in the 2019 Finance Act.

This is meant to help the government achieve its revenue projections for the 2020 budget.

With the Act, it is expected that there will be more revenue to finance key government projects; especially in the areas of health, education and critical infrastructure.

During a recent interview, the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Mohammed Nami; appealed to all businesses to ensure that they register with the FIRS for VAT purpose.

He said any business that failed to obey the tax law would face the wrath of the tax authorities.

“It’s your statutory responsibility, whether you just registered today with Corporate Affairs Commission to come over to the Federal Inland Revenue to register as VAT agent. That is the first responsibility.

“The second responsibility is that you should keep a good record of your transaction. This is because if you don’t keep good records and eventually; during the compliance process and monitoring process it is discovered that you have traded well above N25m, the taxes will be paid in arrears.”

He said the VAT Act already exempts pharmaceuticals, educational items, and basic commodities.

Some of the basic food commodities according to Section 46, that were also excepted include brown and white bread; cereals including maize, rice, wheat, millet, barley and sorghum and fish of all kinds.

Others are flour and starch meals; fruits, nuts, pulses and vegetables of various kinds; roots such as yam, cocoyam, sweet and Irish potatoes; meat and poultry products including eggs, milk, salt and herbs of various kinds; and natural water and table water.

Ng daily

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