7.5 percent VAT to take effect February 1 – FG

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Usman, disclosed in Abuja that the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) new rate of 7.5 per cent will commence on February 1, 2020, after all the necessary administrative procedures have been completed, especially the gazette of the Act by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The VAT was increased from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent in government’s bid to boost revenue which is badly needed to close the deficit gap in the 2020 budget.

Meanwhile, the new Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). Mr Muhammad Nami has outlined a four-point agenda for re-positioning of the organisation.

He identified the pillars as rebuilding FIRS’ institutional framework; robust collaboration with stakeholders; building a taxpayer-centric institution; and data-centric institution.

Mr Nami gave the outlined in his address at the inauguration of the FIRS Board by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, in Abuja, yesterday.

His words, “Our efforts to reposition the Service for better service to our esteemed taxpayers would be anchored on four cardinal pillars.”

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On rebuilding the FIRS institutional framework, the new chairman said that he would strengthen the capacity of Departments and Units to deliver on their mandates on a long-term and sustainable basis.

He added his team would collaborate with other stakeholders, adding, “Our success is hinged on the contributions of other key actors in the Nigerian nation.

“We will, therefore, endeavour to foster genuine collaboration between FIRS and key stakeholders in the Nigerian Tax System and economy, in order to provide a unified view of our services through proper planning. This will eliminate critical bottlenecks.”

Mr Nami also said that the FIRS would be built into an institution that supported Nigeria’s longing to become an investment destination by moving up further on the global Ease of Doing business ladder.

“We can only do this if we focus on efficient service delivery to taxpayers and provide a positive customer experience on all tax compliant processes.

“We must not forget the Service component of our name. We exist to provide service to taxpayers. If we don’t do our work professionally, with integrity, on time, efficiently, we would miss the service essence of our name,” he said.

On data, the FIRS boss said that he would make FIRS an institution “in which its people, processes, and technologies are all geared towards a clear goal of generating and utilizing clear and relevant data/information for efficient revenue generation.”

What to achieve in 100 days Mr Nami said that in his first 100 days in office, he closes all lien cases in order to build new enforcement strategies.

He added that he would restructure; reposition the audit function of the organization; review of structures for optimal performance and undertake staff capacity building on Finance Bill and other Tax programmes.

Mr. said that he would also reposition the Large and Medium Taxpayers’ Offices and reposition collections, reporting and accounting.