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FIRS debunks 50% VAT increase

FIRS boss Babatunde Fowler: agency denies planning to increase VAT rate by 50 per cent

By Mustapha Sumaila

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Wednesday refuted report of planned increment of Value Added Tax (VAT) by 50 per cent to meet up payment of the newly proposed minimum wage.

Nigeria at present has a 5 percent VAT regime on goods and services.

The Head, Communication and Servicom Department, Mr Wahab Gbadamosi, made this known in a statement in Abuja.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma and Dr Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman, had appeared before Senate Committee on Finance at the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ((PSP) interactive meeting on Tuesday.

Gbadamosi explained that at the meeting, Fowler had called for an increase in the number of Nigerians and companies paying VAT and not a 50 per cent increase in VAT rate as reported.

He said that contrary to reports in the media, the FIRS Chairman called for a reduction in Companies Income Tax (CIT) rate for small businesses so as to improve compliance.

“Though he indicated that there should be an increase in VAT rate by the end of the year, he never for once suggested a 50 per cent hike of any percentage increase at all.

“Rather, he promised improved collection in CIT, Petroleum Profits Tax, PPT and VAT in 2019 relative to the collection performance of the Service in 2018,” he said.

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