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Business / ‘ways To Make Digital Transactions’ VAT Work’ by innerkonsult1: 4:08pm On Jun 24
As the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) prepares to impose Value Added Tax (VAT) on online transactions, the questions on many lips is how can it work in Nigeria?
“What Nigeria (FIRS) needs to do is to first study digital economy; What does it mean? In which different areas do we have it? What are the issues, difficulties in collecting its taxes? What is the best practice that has been adopted around the world? “ So advised Mr Taiwo Oyedele, a partner with PwC on Tax and Regulatory services. “It is difficult to deal with digital economy, e-commerce inclusive. Even the largest and the most powerful economy in the World, the US, is still struggling with this digital economy. But they have gone a little bit ahead of the rest of us. So we can then borrow from some of their initiatives,”Oyedele added. The FIRS Chairman, Mr Babatunde Fowler, in far away New York, USA, recently said FIRS would soon begin collection of VAT on online transactions. According to him, “soon, we will ask banks to impose VAT on online transactions for purchases of goods and services.” He explained that the online transactions tax is something not new. “It actually should be in existence. We will certainly follow up to make sure that every VAT that is due to be collected is collected, ” he stated, adding that the move was part of measures by FIRS to meet its N8 trillion revenue target for 2019. To heed Oyedele’s advice, let’s see how this VAT model is being practised in some climes:
Remote sellers’ tax in US
On June 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court fundamentally changed the rules for collection of sales tax by Internet-based retailers. According to www.nolo.com, in its decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., the court stated that individual states can require online sellers to collect state sales tax on their sales. This ruling overturns the court’s 1992 decision in Quill Corporation v. North Dakota. The Quill case prohibited states from requiring a business to collect sales tax unless the business had a physical presence in the state.
Online sales tax in UK
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the tax authority in the United Kingdom, as of 2017, approached sellers (on internet platforms) directly and via the marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, searching for non-VAT compliant non-UK sellers. According to SimplyVAT.com, quoted by blog.taxJar.com, if you are a non-resident UK business and hold stock in the UK, either in a 3PL centre such as Amazon, you have created a taxable supply and have an obligation to VAT register in the UK. If a seller has been trading in the UK for many years without a UK VAT number, HMRC does want the seller to pay the back taxes. Once a seller registers for VAT and has to catch up on a lot of historical returns , which means they will have a lot of back-dated taxes to pay, HMRC will give the seller time to pay as long as the seller offers a reasonable payment plan.
Likely scenario in Nigeria
In an interview with Daily Sun even before Fowler announced the plan, Oyedele painted a likely scenario in Nigeria this way “Take Amazon for example: if you want to order something from Amazon, you can open your computer now or your phone, just log on to the internet. And you can order. Now let’s say you order handset. The handset in Nigeria is liable to VAT. But Amazon is not a Nigerian company. It is supposed to charge VAT. They don’t even know whether there is VAT in Nigeria and they are not even interested. The phone is $50. They have not put VAT on it.

Source: Sun News

Rohr: Akpeyi must stop dribbling

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has voiced his discontentment over goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi’s penchant for dribbling opponents in his goal area. The keeper almost fumbled Kenneth Omeruo’s simple back pass in Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Burundi in their opening 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group B game on Saturday, while trying to dribble an opponent. The 32-year-old, who was picked to start ahead of Francis Uzoho, made outstanding saves in the win but was obviously jittery all through the encounter. “The goalkeeper did not concede a goal, which is good for him and for the team. And he stopped a wonderful opportunity in the first half and as you know, the first goal is the most important, so in that situation, he was really very good,” Rohr said during his post-match interview. “Then we know that sometimes there can also be mistakes. What happened when he tried to dribble with the ball, I don’t like that. He did it, but we will try to make it better next time. But what I saw from him in the last three weeks was really so good in the training sessions that today (Saturday) he was our number one.”

Source: Punch

Business / State Gaming Regulators Kick Against VAT, Explain Operations by innerkonsult1: 3:06pm On Jun 24
State gaming regulators have called for a better understanding of their operations, unity of processes and licensing, especially from the lens of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).Under the aegis of Association of State Gaming Regulators in Nigeria (ASGRN), the body also kicked against plans by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on gaming in Nigeria.
ASGRN added that implementing VAT in gaming could have a devastating effect on the economy.The body, which is however, silent about the “devastating effect”, noted that the constant impasse of the NLRC on their operations needed to be curbed. The body, which rose from a recent meeting, which comprised representatives from states currently regulating all-gaming activities, condemned the lingering issues of rights to regulate the industry between states and the Federal Government’s agency and others. Jointly speaking after the meeting, the chairman of Enugu State Gaming/Lotto Commission, Harrison Ogara, and the Head, Pools and Betting Division of the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS), Felix Fagbohun, flayed the activities of the officials of NLRC, who they said were going from state to state to shut down gaming operators legally licensed by the State Government. ASGRN explained that it was illegal for a national agency, in the mold of NLRC to claim rights to regulate gaming activities clearly under the residual list in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) adding that such activities are tantamount to eroding the very essence of true federalism. Explaining further, Fagbohun enunciated that while some of its members have regulated the industry under gaming laws promulgated as far back as 1981 and 1991, the NLRC only came into existence in 2005”. Fagbohun stressed that ASGRN is operating from the constitutional realm adding that “for NLRC to assume the roles it is playing now, the Commission must first seek for an amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because as it is today, gaming regulatory power lies in the states.” While recounting some of their latest issues with NLRC, Ogara said: “When we noticed the obvious infraction on the provisions of our statute, the states were taken aback and surprised by this act, since the NLRC itself had reached out to the states to explore a joint approach to regulations, a development that was warmly embraced and supported by a few states. However, following concerted efforts of some of the states a lot of progress had been made, until this unfortunate act by the NLRC.” Ogara emphasised that the authors of the Constitution gave the regulatory role to states because of the peculiar nature of the industry, states and their religious inclinations. “Nigeria is a Federation where the three tiers of government are expected to act independently together. We are also aware that there are cases in Supreme Court seeking for clarification over who has rights to regulate gaming.” While justifying the right of the state to regulate gaming, the body pointed to the recent Bauchi State Government’s ban on all gaming activities in the State citing several reasons. “This singular realisation that gaming/gambling is prohibited by some religions and other factors led to the placement of gaming regulation in the Residual List of the Constitution. “As such, states that permit gaming have the inherent constitutional right to regulate gaming. ASGRN is therefore calling on NLRC to understand that legally, its regulatory power only covers the ambit of the Federal Capital Territory and setting up a viable National Lottery to challenge what is currently available in other countries along the West African Sub-region.”The body further disclosed that Ghana Lotto for instance is very popular in Nigeria and asked why Nigeria cannot float a similar lottery?” Reacting to the news that the States were making arrangements to float another body charged with the responsibility of issues regarding gaming taxes and licensing of gaming operators, Ogara said: “In fullness of time and after all due diligence and consultations have been concluded, we intend to establish a Joint Gaming Board (JGB) (one of the outcomes of the roundtable discussions between the States and NLRC), whose duty will be to harmonise and design a unified tax regime among the regulating states. On the issue of licenses, we shall leave it for the respective states to decide.”

Source: Guardian

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Business / ‘technology For Tax Collection Protects Traders, Checks Double Taxation’ by innerkonsult1: 2:07pm On Jun 24
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government’s insistence on the use of technology for tax collection as against non-state actors and consultants was to ensure that traders are protected from harassment and double taxation. He said his administration would strengthen ties with the Tax Appeal Tribunal, South-South Zone, to boost tax compliance in the state, especially with the recent influx of investors into the state.
The governor disclosed this during a courtesy visit by the Chairman of Tax Appeal Tribunal, South-South Zone, Prof. Obehi Odiase-Alegimenlen, to Government House in Benin City. The governor explained that the ban placed on the use of consultants and non-state actors and the introduction of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for tax collection is aimed at protecting traders and other taxpayers from harassment and double taxation. “This move has led to a backlash, but we will not go back on that decision taken by this administration,” Obaseki added. Obaseki noted that taxation remains the main source of revenue for most states in the country, adding that any state focused on growing its internal economy must ensure that the people imbibe the culture of paying their taxes and demanding accountability from government. “I appeal that we work together on advocacy, especially in improving the communication mechanism to drive compliance. People ought to know the importance of paying taxes and that it is their civic responsibility,” he added. He said the state has undertaken significant reforms in tax administration and has implemented a series of initiatives in deploying technology for tax collection, which have made the process easier and more transparent. Obaseki explained, “We believe that we can introduce more technologies to drive transparency and make tax collection easier. People don’t want to pay taxes, forgetting that it is their civic responsibility as it helps to develop the economy.” The Chairman of the Tax Appeal Tribunal, South-South Zone, Prof. Obehi Odiase-Alegimenlen said the tribunal was set-up to resolve disputes from clients of tax authorities. “In the advanced world, taxation is a very important aspect of our development finance but not so in Nigeria. The Federal Government is trying to make taxation a relevant aspect of getting finance for developing the country,” he added.

Source: Punch

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Business / Sanwo-olu Tasks Institute On Deepening Taxation Practice by innerkonsult1: 11:32am On Jun 24
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has tasked the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) to be proactive on deepening taxation practice in Nigeria. The governor gave the advice at the Investiture of the 14th President of CITN, Dame Olajumoke Simplice, on Saturday in Lagos. Represented by Mrs Balogun Olufunmilayo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, he said that deepening taxation practice would enhance revenue generation of the state and country.
He said that his administration would partner the Institute to strengthen and encourage taxation system for enhanced economic development of the country. “CITN has immensely contributed to the growth of taxation in Nigeria, but the reward for hard work is more work. “The Institute should not relent on efforts to have an efficient taxation practice as is obtainable in other countries. “Tax is a civic responsibility of every citizen of a country and remains a major medium through which the government can generate funds to fulfill its electoral promises,” he said. The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, said that the issue of deepening taxation was a global issue that Nigeria should key into. Fowler, who was a special guest of honour at the Investiture, said taxation was a social contract that enables citizens to play significant roles in raising revenue for government. “By paying taxes, government will similarly have a strong motivation to account for revenues collected and the utilisation of such revenues. “Voluntary compliance by the taxpayers will ensure that revenue is made available for improving on the provision of social amenities and services,” the FIRS boss said. Fowler affirmed that the CITN had advanced to an enviable stage when considered from the level it started operation in Lagos State. In her acceptance speech, Simplice promised to widen the corporate horizon of the Institute through the review of its vision and mission statement. She said the institute would develop and deepen the use of technology by ensuring a full-fledged ICT department as the backbone of its operations. “Our vision to be the leading Institute in training world class Tax Professionals has been driven over the years through various capacity building programmes. “Going forward, it is intended that the Tax Academy will be developed to project this fundamental driving force of our vision. “The Tax Academy will be repositioned in terms of capacity for a technically driven alternative route to membership through intensive training for revenue services staff,” Simplice said. She congratulated all the newly elected members and encouraged them to take up challenges that would take the Institute to a greater level.

Source: Punch

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Politics / Nine Edo Lawmakers Elect New Speaker by innerkonsult1: 4:46pm On Jun 19
The new Edo State House of Assembly was inaugurated on Monday, with nine members electing Frank Okiye as Speaker. The Assembly has 24 members-elect. A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said the new Assembly was inaugurated at 3pm. However, sources told our correspondent that the inauguration was performed by the Clerk of the House, Alhaji Audu Omogbai, at about 9.30pm. The statement read, “The much-anticipated inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly took place in Benin around 3pm on Monday, June 17, 2019. “The Clerk of the Edo House of Assembly, Alhaji Audu Omogbai, ushered the members-elect into the chamber and read out the letter of proclamation transmitted to the Office of the Clerk by the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki. “After reading the letter, the Clerk proclaimed the House and the members-elect began the process of electing the House leadership, with Frank Okiye of Esan North-East Constituency I emerging as Speaker, while Yekini Idiaye of Akoko Edo Constituency I was elected as Deputy Speaker. “Upon completion of the process of swearing-in, Okiye took charge of proceedings.” According to the statement, Nosa Okunbor, Henry Okuarobo, Uyi Ekhosuehi, Marcus Onobun, Ephraim Anehbosele, Roland Asoro and Eric Okaka were other lawmakers present on the occasion. Meanwhile, youths suspected to be loyal to Obaseki on Tuesday took over the Assembly complex to support the inauguration. Addressing reporters, the alleged leader of the group, Kelly Okungbowa, said, “We are here to inform the world that what happened yesterday (Monday) is a welcome development. We want to use this opportunity to urge the rest of the elected members to follow suit.”

Source: Punch

Sports / Marta Dedicates World Cup Record To ‘anyone Fighting For Equality’ by innerkonsult1: 2:32pm On Jun 19
Marta secured her place among the legends of football on Tuesday after the Brazilian become the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer in the 1-0 win against Italy in Valenciennes. “This record doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to all of us,” said the 33-year-old after crashing home a penalty with 16 minutes left to score her 17th World Cup goal. “I share it with anyone fighting for more equality.” Brazil set up a knockout stage clash with either host France or Germany after the 74th-minute strike moved Marta one goal ahead of the German Miroslav Klose in the record books. “Do you think he’ll change his mind about retiring and play at the next World Cup?” Marta joked. Brazil finished third on goal difference in Group C behind Italy and Australia — who beat Jamaica 4-1 — after all three ended level on six points. Marta wasn’t fazed by the possibility of facing France, who topped Group A with a perfect nine points after scraping past Nigeria on Monday. “To play against the host nation would be a privilege. The stadium would be full of fans singing,” she said. “I love playing in front of a big crowd whether it’s supporting me or is against me. I just want there to be fans who are watching us.” Marta is widely considered the greatest player in the history of the women’s game and was hailed by her teammates as an inspiration for others wanting to take up the male-dominated sport. “She is like an icon for us and I think every year she is breaking records and that’s not just important for us but for all of the women’s soccer. I’m so happy she is Brazilian,” said centre-back Monica. Fellow defender Tamires added: “We have a lot of young players coming up and I hope they look to her and how she plays, what makes her so special and so incredible and follow her.”
– Four-star Kerr –
The defeat wasn’t enough to dislodge Italy from the top spot and a match with one of the four best third-placed finishers. “It’s a shame about the result because we didn’t want to lose but we played well enough to have drawn it,” said Juventus attacker Babara Bonansea, who twice went close for Italy before Marta claimed her record goal. “We knew that today was going to be difficult but we were good. Let’s see who our next match is with.” Marta’s winner overshadowed another historic feat for Sam Kerr, who became the first Australian to score a World Cup hat-trick as she crashed four past eliminated Jamaica in Grenoble. “It’s one to tell my kids about,” Kerr said. “Any time you break a record, especially for your country, it is an amazing feeling.” The Matildas will play Norway in Nice in the last 16 on Saturday. England needs a point against Japan on Wednesday to ensure they top Group D and avoid a potential last-16 clash with European champions the Netherlands. Topping the group would, however, also put them on the same side of the draw as both France and potentially the World Cup holders USA. Coach Phil Neville said Tuesday admitted there were “pitfalls in finishing first and second” as he reported that his squad was fully fit with striker Toni Duggan available after missing the wins over Scotland and Argentina.

Source: punch

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Business / Chike-obi Urges FG To Expand Tax Net, Reduce Rate by innerkonsult1: 12:00pm On Jun 19
Pioneer chief executive of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mustafa Chike-Obi, on Monday in Lagos reiterated the need for the Federal Government to harness the huge economic potentials inherent in taxation to raise revenue and effectively diversifying the economy from crude oil. This, he said, is possible if the tax net is expanded such that much more people attracted into the tax net, thereby reducing the burden on the few that faithfully pay, a situation he expects will reduce tax rate in the country from the current 30%, the highest in the world today.
Chike-Obi, Executive Vice Chairman, Alpha African Advisory, who spoke on the theme: Repositioning Nigerian Economy for Sustainable Growth,” at the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) Bi-Monthly Forum, an event meant to set economic agenda for second four-year term of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, while addressing key economic issues, challenged government to discourage multiple taxations, as part of efforts to enhance voluntary compliance. Speaking on the plethora of intervention funds and why adequate infrastructure is needed to stimulate the economy instead, also noted the need for a lower interest rate of between 12 to 15% per annum. For him, “all these intervention funds don’t work… Let me tell you why they don’t work. If you lend to a farmer at 5% you think you are helping him, but everything around him is at 26%. So, he gets a little bit of relief on his financing, but he doesn’t get reliefs on his supplies, diesel, food, employees… So, at the end of the day, those things he gets at 26% invades his 5%.” Chike-Obi said intervention funds also don’t work because “the default rates are as high as default rates of non-intervention funds. So, they don’t work. They are not very efficient”. What Nigeria’s economic managers should do in the new dispensation is to provide capital at reasonable interest rates that work for everyone. “There must be access to capital at a reasonable price. With a 26% interest rate, you cannot do business successfully. So, we must find a way to provide interest rate to everybody at a reasonable rate. We must have an interest rate that will support our economy. And it cannot be much higher to the borrower at 12 to 15%. Every Nigerian should be able to borrow money at between 12 to 15%… So, we must have capital available.” He also spoke on what foreign lenders look out for when lending to developed markets, warning that borrowing in US$ may not be cheaper on the long-run than the Naira as widely believed in some official quarters. For example, he stressed, even the country borrows in US$ at 8%, creditors are concerned with the exchange at the time of repayment, as it is unlikely to remain at N360/$, just as the foreign creditors consider borrowers with a capacity to generate needed funds for repayment of such loans. “The reason why they are lending money at 8%, instead of 16%, is because they know that by the time that money matures, your Naira will not be exchanging at N360/$. This is because the Naira always depreciated by approximately 50% every five years,” Chike-Obi argued.

Source: Invest Data

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Business / Taxes Killing Ghanaian Companies As Foreign Businesses Thrive by innerkonsult1: 10:51am On Jun 19
The founder of Perez Chapel International, Bishop Charles Agyinasare, has blamed the collapse of Ghanaian businesses on the immediate tax imposed on them by the government. Preaching at a Sunday service on 2 June 2019 at the Perez Chapel International at the Perez Dome in Accra, Bishop Agyinasare wondered why foreign-owned businesses are given tax exemptions to the detriment of indigenous ones.As a result, he said, the majority of the mega businesses in Ghana are not owned by Ghanaians.
Bishop Agyinasare told his congregation that: “Do you know that in Ghana we don’t even have businesses? We like foreign businesses, we don’t have businesses, all our shops are foreign-owned – from Melcom to Shoprite to our restaurants; the Papayes, all the telecom companies, we don’t own any of them, from Vodafone to MTN to [Airtel/]Tigo, we don’t own anything.“We say we do chocolate but Nestle doesn’t belong to us, Unilever Brothers doesn’t belong to us, we don’t own anything.“When a foreign company wants to come and do business in Ghana, we’ll give them a 10 per cent tax exemption for them to settle within the period. A Ghanaian businessman starts the same business and from day one, he has to pay tax and, so, our businesses are collapsing.“When a Ghanaian businessman starts a furniture company today, he has to pay tax, a foreign company starts a furniture company, he claims he’s exporting the thing then they export the thing and it still gets back here and the Ghanaian man who has started is paying taxes and so our businesses don’t succeed”.Last year, the President of the African Centre for Economic Transformation, (ACET), Dr K. Y. Amoako said tax holidays for foreign companies is undermining Africa’s growth.He bemoaned the lack of stringent measures by the government to mobilise taxes from international firms who are investing in African countries.Dr Amoako said this in an interview with the media on the sidelines of the opening session of the 2018 African Transformation Forum held in Accra.

Source; Afroinsider

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Business / LIRS To Use Taxpayers’ Bank Verification Numbers For Unique Biometric Identifica by innerkonsult1: 12:20pm On Jun 18
Summary
Recently, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) issued a Public Notice (PN) disclosing its intention to integrate the LIRS’ Personal Identification Digit (PID) for taxpayers with the national Tax Identification Number (TIN) system using taxpayers’ Bank Verification Numbers (BVN). The PID, which is also known as the Lagos State Government Electronic Banking System (LASG-EBS) Taxpayers Identification Digit, is a unique taxpayer identity code issued by the LIRS to taxpayers in Lagos State while the TIN is a national identification number for individuals or corporate entities for the purpose of tax remittance. According to the PN, the integration will facilitate seamless sharing of taxpayers’ information between tax authorities and other relevant stakeholders.
Details
The PN provides that the integration is designed to be biometric-based and the LIRS intends to employ the existing BVNs to achieve the planned integration. Furthermore, the PN states that access to the LASG-EBS platform for all transactions such as registration and creation of payer ID for new taxpayers, payments of taxes and validation of taxpayers’ profile etc. will now require taxpayers’ BVN. Accordingly, the PN requires all self-employed individuals to provide their BVNs to the LIRS in order to assist in the creation of their unique PID. Corporate Organizations are also required to ensure that their employees who qualify for tax clearance certificate (TCC) include their BVN in their individual e-TCC forms. The LIRS, in the PN, also assured taxpayers of the safety and security of all data and information in its custody.
Implications
We expect that the proposed integration of the PID into the TIN would provide the tax authorities with more reliable taxpayers’ information to enable them track down tax defaulters and combat tax evasion. However, it is important that the tax authorities safeguard all data and information of taxpayers, which may be obtained from the integration process to boost taxpayers’ confidence in the system. Thus, taxpayers should engage their tax consultants as soon as possible to obtain professional guidance in complying with the directives under the Notice.

Source: Andersen Tax

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Business / ANAN Urges Improvement In ERGP Implementation by innerkonsult1: 11:10am On Jun 18
The new President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Prof. Muhammad Mainoma, has urged the Federal Government to improve the pace of implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), as the country’s full recovery from recession rests on this.
Mainoma, who said during his inauguration as the11th President and Chairman of Council of ANAN, recently, expressed optimism that with the favourable outlook in 2019, resulting from the rising crude oil price, growth in external reserves, declining inflation, and GDP growth, there is hope that these would translate to sustainable economic development. Using his name as an acronym, the new president said it was with a determination to consolidate on the attainments by Making Accountants in Nigeria Ordinarily More Attractive (MAINOMA). He equally urged ANAN members to exhibit characters of proficiency, respect, objectivity, fairness, education, selflessness, service and integrity, organisation, networking, ability, learning, image, standardisation and methodological, which he termed as Professionalism. Under his watch, Mainoma said the council would work with other professional accounting organisations (PAOs) to form a joint accounting body, as formidable platform for advising the government, noting that the Federal Government’s National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) needs the support of PAOs in Nigeria. “PAOs must work alongside government, regulators, law enforcement and international bodies to combat corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and to strengthen transparency and accountability programmes,” he said. While commending efforts in institutional and governance reforms, he said ANAN would partner with the three tiers of government to enhance fiscal transparency and accountability governance. During the ceremony, a new ANAN logo as well as its training arm, Nigerian College of Accountancy (NCA) Jos, was unveiled. In his valedictory address, the immediate past president, Shehu Ladan, listed some progress made to uplift the association and its members.

Source: Guardian

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Business / CAC: Steps To Start A Small Business by innerkonsult1: 10:07am On Jun 18
Experts say there are steps required to start a successful business. Take one step at a time, and you will be on your way to successful small business ownership. Step 1: Do Your Research Most likely you have already identified a business idea, so now is the time to balance it with a little reality. Does your idea have the potential to succeed? You will need to run your business idea through a validation process before you go any further.
A brand strategist Lanre Philips says you don’t go into a business just because you have an idea but because you want to solve a problem. “In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfill a need or offer something the market wants”. Author of ‘Starting a Successful Business’, Mrs Ekatte Umoh also corroborated this. “Simply find a need and fill it. There is always a gap in the market, recognize that gap and provide a solution.” There are a number of ways you can identify this need, including research and even trial and error. As you explore the market, some of the questions you should answer include: Is there a need for your anticipated products/services? Who needs it? Are there other companies offering similar products/services now? What is the competition like? Step 2: Make a Plan You need a plan in order to make your business idea a reality. A business plan is a blueprint that will guide your business from the start-up phase through establishment and eventually business growth. Experts say a business plan is a must-have for all new businesses. Step 3: Plan Your Finances Starting a small business does not always require a lot of money, but it will involve some initial investment as well as the ability to cover ongoing expenses before you are turning a profit. Anticipate what you will need to keep your business running for at least 12 months, like rent, marketing, supplies, employee salaries, your own salary and so on. Step 4: Choose a Business Structure Your small business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. The business entity you choose will impact many factors from your business name and to your liability. You may choose an initial business structure, and then re-evaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs change. Step 5: Pick and Register Your Business Name Your business name plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Make sure you think through all of the potential implications as you explore your options and choose a business name. You can register a business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for N5, 000. The federal government reduced the rate from 10,000 to enable small business register their business names.

Source: Daily Trust

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Business / Lirs Issues Public Notice On Tin Registration; To Leverage On The Existing Bvn O by innerkonsult1: 1:28pm On Jun 14
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) issued a Public Notice on 4 June 2019 informing taxpayers of its intention to integrate the existing Taxpayers Identification Digit (PID) into the nationwide Tax Identification Number (TIN) system with the Joint Tax Board. The LIRS intends to leverage the existing Bank Verification Number (BVN) operations to achieve this objective. Consequently, access to LIRS electronic platform for all transactions, such as registration and creation of Payer ID for new taxpayers, payment of taxes and validation of taxpayers’ profile will compulsorily require BVN validation.
The Public Notice further requires every self-employed individual to provide their BVN to the LIRS for creation of their unique PID, while corporate organisations are to ensure that their employees provide their BVNs for processing of their tax clearance certificates (TCCs).
Matters arising
1. The BVN is a very sensitive confidential information which is personal to individual bank customers. The operation of BVN in Nigeria is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number Operations and Watch-list for the Nigerian Financial System (“the Framework”). The CBN recognizes the importance of protecting bank customers’ data and has made access to BVN information by any party subject to a valid court order and its approval. This implies that access to BVN information is restricted and will only be conditionally released on case-by-case basis.
2. While the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act (as amended) empowers relevant tax authorities to request taxpayers to provide books, documents and information for the purpose of establishing their income or gain earned, the power must be carefully exercised especially where sensitive personal information, such as BVN is involved. This is necessary to avoid security risks to taxpayers. Hence, such power should not be interpreted to grant unfettered access to sensitive taxpayer’s data, such as BVN, except in the event of criminal investigation.
3. While the data integration exercise by the LIRS may be desirable, the question is whether a BVN is necessarily required for the exercise. There is no question that a TIN can be issued without BVN and if personal identification is required at all for TIN to be issued, there are other less invasive means of identification, such as national identity card, driver licence, international passport, etc., that can be used for this purpose. The LIRS should be happy to see new taxpayers register for tax purpose upon presenting any valid identity card rather than introducing another layer of requirement for this purpose. The less the hurdles taxpayers have to cross the better. It is instructive that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has successfully registered several companies for tax purpose and issued TIN to them without requiring the BVNs of their directors. The LIRS should take a cue from this.
4. The LIRS’ requirement for provision of BVN before taxpayers can be issued TCCs, when a TCC is only a confirmation of tax paid by a taxpayer is very concerning, especially after a taxpayer has discharged his civic duty. There is no reason to put another constraint on taxpayers when they should be given the freedom to print the document online as and when required. In the final analysis, as taxpayers may not have a choice but oblige the LIRS, it is important for the LIRS to put foolproof measures in place to ensure data privacy and protection of taxpayers.

Source: Pro share

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Business / Tax Club UNILAG Wins National Tax Quiz Competition by innerkonsult1: 12:42pm On Jun 14
The Tax Club, University of Lagos clinched the first (1st) prize at the 2019 National Tax Quiz Competition held at the recently concluded Annual Tax Conference organized by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria in Kado, Abuja. The Competition was an integral part of the Conference which was held between April 23 and 26, 2019,
About 200 undergraduates from across Nigeria participated in the Competition. Out of these, six finalists were selected through a Four Stage Computer Based Test on different areas of Taxation. The Conference came to a crescendo with Orimijupa Olukunle David of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos emerging winner of the Quiz Competition. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS, on behalf of Management, Senate, staff, students and other members of the University community congratulates Orimijupa Olukunle David and members of the Tax Club, University of Lagos on this feat.

Source: Unilag

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Business / G20 Working On Digital Tax For Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple by innerkonsult1: 11:15am On Jun 14
Top G20 finance officials agreed Saturday there was an urgent need to find a global system to tax internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple, but clashed on the best way to do it. The G20 has tasked the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to fix an international tax system that has seen some internet heavyweights take advantage of low-tax jurisdictions in places like Ireland and pay next to nothing in other countries where they make huge profits.
OECD chief Angel Gurria presented G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs meeting over the weekend in the western Japanese city of Fukuoka with a “roadmap”, already signed off by 129 countries, in a bid to clinch a long-term solution by 2020. “We have to hurry up,” stressed French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire during a panel discussion of top policymakers before the G20 meeting officially opened. Le Maire called for a more ambitious time frame to forge a global consensus, saying: “The right schedule is to find a compromise by the end of this year.” British finance minister Philip Hammond said taxing internet giants fairly was a response to something that is “perceived by our population to be a gross injustice in our tax system.” Ministers are weighing a new tax policy based on the amount of business a company does in a country, not where it is headquartered. But there are rival proposals in the mix, including a wider US-led approach that could affect European and Asian multinationals in other sectors than technology. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took a blunt view of policies in Britain and France, which have already introduced their own taxes on digital players, given a lack of global consensus. “I would say the US has significant concerns with the two current taxes that are being proposed by France and the UK but let me give them some good credit for proposing them in the sense (that) they have created an urgency to deal with this issue,” said Mnuchin. “Although I don’t like them, I do appreciate the impetus for these issues,” added the top US finance official.

Source: PM News Nigeria

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Business / Okwuadigbo Emerges 55th ICAN President, Pledges Support For Govt. by innerkonsult1: 9:22am On Jun 14
MAZI Nnamdi Okwuadigbo has emerged the 55th president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, pledging to support government at all levels with recommendations that would facilitate the process of economic growth and development, especially in the management of public resources.
Speaking at his investiture in Lagos, Okwuadigbo who until his appointment was the immediate past vice president of the association, said ICAN is a key player in the country’s economic value chain which is why it would not shy away from lending its voice to critical social, economic, educational and professional issues that would emerge in the country in the course of the year. He said: “We shall continue to provide robust contributions to various relevant bills from the National Assembly. We shall engage governments at all levels intensively on pertinent burning national issues. “As a profession and an institute, we will continue to offer constructive advice to all tiers of government in our efforts to promote the culture of professionalism in the management of public resources, thereby facilitating the process of economic growth and development. “However, as seasoned professionals who are relied upon by players in the economy in their business decision-making processes, we must raise the profile of our contributions to public policy processes beyond the submission of solicited or unsolicited memoranda to the various arms of government. “We shall sustain with vigor of the Accountability Index (AI) project. Initial feedback has shown the remarkable impact of the project to national governance. “As seasoned professionals, we must, in words and actions, remain the foe of deceits and champion of honesty. We must be prepared to support our members to ensure that they continually render value-laden services to clients, employers and the society at large in strict conformity with the ethics of our profession.

Source: Vanguard

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Sports / Transfer: Hazard Becomes Real Madrid’s Highest-paid Player by innerkonsult1: 8:22am On Jun 14
Eden Hazard will become the highest-paid player at Real Madrid, when he completes his £130million move from Chelsea in the coming days, the Evening Standard reports.

Hazard’s salary will be doubled to £400,000, automatically making him one of the highest earners with the Spanish giants.

The 28-year-old will leapfrog some of the big names, who have been part of the Los Blancos squad for the last trophy-laden decade.

Bale previously led the way, with an eye-watering £346,000 per-week salary or £18million a year, after tax.

Toni Kroos and captain Sergio Ramos both pocket £200,000 a week with Madrid, while Luka Modric takes home a weekly £180,000.

REAL MADRID’S TOP EARNERS
Eden Hazard – £400k
Gareth Bale – £346k
Toni Kroos – £200k
Sergio Ramos – £200k
Luka Modric – £180k
Karim Benzema – £150k

Business / VAT Revenue Down By N9bn In Q1 2019 by innerkonsult1: 2:01pm On May 31
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says Nigeria generated N289.04 billion from value-added Tax (VAT) in the first quarter of 2019, representing a decline N9billion from the N298.01 billion generated in Q4 2018. This is contained in a Sectoral Distribution of VAT report for the first quarter 2019 released by the bureau.
This, it said, represented a 3.01 per cent decrease quarter-on-quarter and 7.13per cent increase year-on-year. VAT is a consumption tax placed on a product whenever value is added at each stage of the supply chain – from production to the point of sale. According to the report, the manufacturing sector generated the highest amount of N31.42 billion. It was followed by professional services with N24.31 billion, while commercial and trading generated N14.92 billion. NBS further said the mining sector generated the least amount of N59.88 million, with pharmaceuticals raking in N201.58 million, while the chemicals and allied industry generated N298.14 million. The report noted that N137.06 billion was generated as non-import VAT locally, while N98.97 billion was generated as non-import VAT for foreign items in the quarter under review. According to the bureau, N5.01 billion was generated as Nigeria Customs import VAT within the period under review.

Source: The Sun

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Politics / Don’t Victimise Ambode, PDP Warns Sanwo-olu by innerkonsult1: 5:19pm On May 30
The Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State has warned Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu against victimizing his predecessor, Akinwunmi Ambode. The PDP said in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Taofik Gani, that Sanwo-Olu should rather focus on surpassing the achievements of Ambode. The statement read in part, “The Lagos State chapter of the PDP has counseled the new Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to adopt positivism and eschew any iota of vendetta pursuit if he must succeed as a governor.” According to Lagos PDP, “the undoing of Mr Sanwo-Olu will be for him to attempt unnecessarily going after his immediate predecessor and or opposition interests, rather than concentrating on his programmes to better the living conditions of Lagosians.” The opposition party, which described Ambode as the best governor in Lagos since 1999, added that he would be remembered for good. The PDP urged the new governor to appoint professionals into his cabinet and not quacks. The statement added, “The Lagos State PDP attests to the unparalleled achievements of former Governor Ambode in developing the state, especially compared to the performances of former governors Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola. “The PDP thus counsels Sanwo-Olu to rather look into how to surpass Ambode’s legacies instead of attempt to victimize any perceived opponents before and after his emergence. The PDP thus further posits that in the interest of worthy services to Lagosians, Mr Sanwo-Olu should make up a cabinet of competent hands and not mediocre persons in the name of partisanship.” The PDP lamented that it had not been allowed to rule Lagos since 1999. The party said the state would have witnessed unprecedented changes had it been allowed to rule in the last 20 years.

Source: Punch

Business / Lagos Using Corrupt Firms To Collect Tax- Ex-cbn Dep. Gov by innerkonsult1: 4:31pm On May 30
A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia, has said that the Lagos State Government is using corrupt consultants to collect tax from the people. Mailafia, who described the act as daylight robbery, called on the people of Lagos to rise against such extortion and corruption. The former CBN deputy governor said this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.
Mailafa, who praised Lagos for being able to increase its Internally Generated Revenue, said there was room for doing things in a better, transparent and more effective manner. He lamented that tax consultants in Lagos receive as high as 20 per cent commission in some instances which was against the norm in other advanced climes. Mailafia said when the people see that their taxes are being put to good use, they would be willing to pay more hence the spike in IGR during the administration of former Governor Babatunde Fashola. The former CBN deputy governor said, “Lagos which was the poster child for success in internally generated revenue, still has a lot of issues there. I love Lagos but of course, Lagosians were very reluctant to pay more tax but when they realized Fashola was doing a lot of work, they were more than happy to pay. “But there is a problem. The cost of extracting this taxation is one of the highest in the world. They have invited very dubious consultants who keep between 15 to 20 per cent of this tax. I think it is a form of iniquity and I don’t know why for the life of me, Lagosians tolerate that nonsense. “It is their money and it is daylight robbery. Employ people, train them; let the government collect the tax, not private consultants. In France, there are schools dedicated to training people in public finance and tax administration. These are the people you should set about to collect your taxes, not some iniquitous and corrupt private consultants.” Several petitions have been submitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the past detailing alleged fraud by some tax consultants in Lagos State. However, the EFCC has failed to invite anyone including the petitioners.

Source: Punch

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Business / The Imperative Of Widening The Tax Net by innerkonsult1: 1:58pm On May 30
A national consensus seems to have emerged that increasing the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate at this point will deepen the economic misery of the average Nigerian already overburdened by the yoke of broken social infrastructure. For the hard-pressed workers, such proposition will only mean that the government is desirous of retrieving with the left hand what it just gave out, albeit grudgingly, with the right hand by way of the recently approved minimum wage which many states may not even be able to pay. Besides, government, at all levels, has failed to discharge their obligation in the social contract as can easily be seen in collapsed social infrastructure and worsening insecurity across the land.
Given the foregoing, the only reasonable idea on the table is to widen the tax net. The idea becomes more plausible against the background of the latest reports by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that it has captured the identities of 45 million individual and corporate entities. The milestone was made possible by the resolve of the federal tax authorities to shift focus this year by putting more energy into the enumeration of taxpayers through TIN (Tax Identification Number) registration exercise. To achieve this feat, the FIRS had to synergies with other government agencies like the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), among others. This is partly a fulfillment of the original promise of the idea of having an integrated national database. Indeed, the imperative of having to explore other revenue sources cannot be overstated considering the perennial volatility of the oil price in the international market and the necessity to wean the nation of overdependence on oil revenue for sustenance. The urgency of this need will surely become even more manifest in the times ahead as the already financially stressed federal authorities grapple with the challenge of seeking funds to deliver on the approved N8.9 trillion budget for 2019 and the state governments having to shoulder additional financial burden arising from the new minimum wage of N30,000. It is commendable that the FIRS has been able to improve on its performance by automating its processes to not only cut operational costs but also curtail abuses, leakages and wastes in line with international best practices. We see this as one of the reasons for the steady growth in the national tax revenue in the past few years: from N3.3 trillion in 2016 to N4 trillion in 2017 and N5.3 trillion in 2018. What makes the rising graph quite significant is that it happened when the national economy was supposed to be contracting on account of the deleterious effects of the recession that hit the nation, from which it only began to show signs of slight recovery in the last quarter of 2017 after two years.
With a unified database, we can only hope that the FIRS will address widespread complaints from the public against multiple taxation and arbitrariness of some of its officials. Added to this is an ethical issue. There have been complaints also by high net worth individuals of being slapped with arbitrary tax demands based on information obtained clandestinely from their bankers. Such complaints are quite legitimate. It is important that FIRS is mindful of such ethical issues while seeking to mobilize revenue for government to fund growth and development. According to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), widening the tax net will reduce the huge burden placed on the narrow tax compliant segments of the populace and corporate entities, many of whom are manufacturers.

Source: This days

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Business / Government To Grow Taxpayer Database To 45 Million by innerkonsult1: 12:57pm On May 30
When the ongoing integration of different bio metric databases in Nigeria is completed, it is anticipated that the figure on the taxpayer database will grow to 45 million individuals, inclusive of corporate payers. In essence, the taxpayer database has expanded from 10 million that was inherited by President Buhari in 2015 to 35 million as at the end of 2018. Disclosing this at the quarterly world press conference held in Abuja, Mrs. Zainab S. Ahmed, Honorable Minister of Finance, said that through reforms at the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Joint Tax Board (JTB), government have been able to harmonize the Tax Identity Number (TIN) database to cover Federal, States and LGs to establish a unified identity number system for uniquely identifying tax payers.
Considering that revenue growth is a strategic priority for the Ministry of Finance, Ahmed further said that the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI), which was launched in Abuja Wednesday, January 23, 2019, is a key aspect of government strategy to improve Non-oil revenue through fiscal buffers, and ultimately improve the Revenue to Debt Service Ratio and to improve the ratio of Non-oil revenue to Non-oil GDP. “A set of initiatives have been itemized in the SRGI to increase the country’s revenues across all revenue types. This is to ensure that the whole of government is focused on revenue generation,” she stated. Among the initiatives in the SRGI is the National Single Window (NSW) which is expected to significantly improve the revenue performance of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) when implemented. Speaking further in an interactive session, the Honorable Minister said: “Four to five years after implementation we expect NCS revenue to double. This will come from the blocking of the leakages, improvement in the efficiencies in our ports and borders, the rehabilitation of scanners as well as the infusion of new scanners in the ports trading ecosystem, and it would also be due to increased rate of physical examination, reducing the physical examination to fasten the business of the ports.” The single window, according to her, would also help to bring to the barest minimum the issues of trade sim-invoicing, which is not only a drain on customs revenue but also a drain on tax revenues.

Source: Independent

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Business / ‘EU Spent €20m On Nigeria’s Tax, Budget Other Reforms’ by innerkonsult1: 12:00pm On May 30
The European Union (EU) Support to Federal Government Reform Programme (EU-SUFEGOR) spent a whooping €20m on varieties of reforms to deepen good governance in Nigeria. The Team Leader of the EU-SUFEGOR, Prof. Olaseni Akintola-Bello, said this in Abuja at the formal winding off of the five-year project.
According to him, the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) among other policies are positive developments the country must strengthen and consolidate with others policies and strategies. He said the project was mostly implemented with the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Ministry of Budget and National Planning (MBNP), Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHoCSF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) under varieties of sub-projects. On her part, the Head of Section -Economic Cooperation and Energy, EU, Ms. Nadia Cannata, said the project has achieved high-level policy meeting on effective policy monitoring and evaluation for the development of a policy framework checklist. “There is the development of the medium term sector strategy (MTSS) through the provision of trainers, analysis of sector wide approaches in Africa and production of a citizen’s guide to the budget,” Cannata said. She said there was also the training of over 300 public servants in ICT capacity building. On his part the Acting Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Mr. Dasuki Arabi, represented by Head, Internal Audit of the bureau, Mr. Fola Ibn Aliu, said part of the achievement of the project was the production of up to date Compendium of Public Service Reforms for easy references for policy makers, apart from trainings and capacity building for over 600 public service officials. “It has also financed the production of an on-line self-assessment tool which has been found useful for assessing the management and organizational performance of public agencies,” Arabi said.

Source: Daily trust

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Business / Trouble For Tax Evaders As FG Inaugurates Project Lighthouse Committee by innerkonsult1: 5:11pm On May 28
Trouble is brewing for recalcitrant tax evaders in Nigeria, as the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab, Shamsuna Ahmed, on Friday inaugurated the Steering Committee for “Project Lighthouse” in line with government’s blueprint to aggressively collect more taxes and grow its non-oil revenue base. Project Lighthouse is an initiative which entails using advanced data mining and analytics techniques to identify tax defaulters, establish their tax liabilities and send notifications to appropriate authorities for necessary action.
As at June 2018, the initiative, which aggregates data from multiple sources such as bank accounts, land registry records, company registration data, tax filings, Customs records and asset ownership records, has identified a batch of over 130,000 high net worth individuals and companies whose tax records are not up to date due to detected underpayments. Speaking at the inauguration, the Minister said she would Chair the Committee, while the Deputy-chair will be the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties at the Ministry, Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa. She added that the Presidential Initiatives for Continuous Audit (PICA) and Department of Technical Services at the Ministry of Finance will serve as the Secretariat of Project Lighthouse. The Minister, in her address, regretted that despite living in a technologically-charged and data-centric world, Nigeria has not developed a culture of using data and information to guide the formulation, implementation and impact assessment of various initiatives and policies or even in carrying out its mandate as a Ministry. She said: “You will recall that one of the key economic policy objectives of the current administration, as contained in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), is improving overall Federal Government revenues by targeting and increasing revenues from non-oil revenue sources. “You will also recall that in the last few months, major steps have been taken to address our chronic revenue challenges. One of such steps is the launch of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGI), which some of you have been participating in. “Following the ratification of Project Lighthouse at Federal Executive (FEC) on Wednesday 9th May, 2019, the Federal Ministry of Finance is entering in a post-VAIDS or Phase 2 of the Project. “However, this time around, Project Lighthouse is being positioned as a single source of truth for revenue and tax-related intelligence that will support the Ministry, its agencies, revenue agencies, tax authorities and other stakeholders to be better positioned to address the revenue challenges we are facing.” Ahmed stressed that in the first phase of Project Lighthouse, “we will be using Big Data analytics, date sciences and related technologies to gather and analyze financial data and revenue related data from multiple but related sources. We would also use the sophisticated date analysis tools to ‘connect the dots’ between different data sets. The terms of reference of the Steering Committee include, provide strategic direction for the Project; serve as the source of the data required to populate the Project Lighthouse Platform; assist the Federal Ministry of Finance with relevant data/information on mining of information of tax payers and revenue value chain; review of technical aspects of the Project and report on the progress of the project to relevant stakeholders. While urging stakeholders to put in their best to ensure the successful implementation of the initiative, the Minister said, “we can drastically change our revenue story by fully and innovatively exploiting the great power of Big Data Analytics, Data Science and related technologies.”
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Special Duties at the Ministry, Dr Dikwa, who will also serve as the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, in his opening remarks, said Project Lighthouse, was part of the strategic revenue growth initiatives, which are measures to boost revenues in line with the provisions of the Constitution, the Fiscal Responsibility Act and other associated laws. He noted further that Project Lighthouse will be a platform that will help the Ministry gather information from both the formal and informal sectors for the purpose of boosting internally generated revenues to adequately fund the budget. Members of the Steering Committee include, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Joint Tax Board (JTB), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Other members are, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Special Presidential Initiatives on Recovery of Public Properties (SPIRPP), Permanent Secretary Finance (PSF), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), Budget Office of the Federation (BOF), Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Source: The Sun

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Business / CITN, ACCA Sign Pact To Deepen Capacity In Finance Sector by innerkonsult1: 2:46pm On May 28
Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on professional curriculum exchange and membership recognition between the two institutions. The pact will define how CITN and ACCA would collaborate to develop ACCA’s tax and law variants for Nigeria, and the basis of membership exchange between the two bodies. Speaking at a brief ceremony recently in Lagos, President and Chairman of Council, CITN, Cyril Ede, said the partnership would help the Institute and ACCA to understand the intricacies in taxation and accounting professions.
Ede noted that the collaboration would look at areas of common interest, and would place CITN on an international sphere whereby knowledge of international tax and associated issues would be gained. “ACCA is a worldwide recognized body, not only in accounting but also in business matters. Our relationship with ACCA would be very beneficial to our members and also beneficial to ACCA.“We have pursued this matter vigorously since 2017 because this relationship would help us to widen the knowledge of taxation for more people to be involved in tax payment. Our main focus is to widen the people’s knowledge on taxation to know that it’s a compulsory responsibility,” he said. In his remarks, the Head, ACCA Nigeria, Thomas Isibor, noted that the collaboration between the two bodies was a milestone, as it shows the importance attached to partnership development. He said the partnership would aid the development of capacity in Nigeria’s the finance sector, as CITN and ACCA will bring together resources and help in building the sector. He said: “The benefit of this is on three layers: first is national, which is country wide, in terms of how we can support in developing the economy and wellbeing of Nigerians and also developing the professionals in the taxation and accountancy profession and also for members value. Meanwhile, the CITN has called on the government to put the right policies in place that will enhance investments in Nigeria’s economy, and promote voluntary tax compliance. Speaking at the 40th induction ceremony, Ede, said an inclusive economic growth of about five per cent yearly can be achieved by providing five million new jobs against the current unemployment trajectory. He maintained that the nation’s budget should detail a plan of action beyond the statement of incomes and expenditures, and fund infrastructural gap to boost Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), and concession arrangements for the proper operation and maintenance of public infrastructure. He charged the 560 inductees to uphold professionalism in their practice of taxation to avoid sanctions by CITN, and comply with the provisions of the charter, bear true allegiance, and promote the image of the institute. In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer, Gabe Fasoto and Co, Gabriel Fasoto, said taxation has always been a distinct profession from accountancy, and charged the inductees to maintain excellence in taxation practice and administration. “Taxation is not settlement; you need to equip yourself technically. Know the tax laws, jurisprudence, and global tax practice, and expand the frontier of tax knowledge rather than only the pecuniary interest,” he admonished.

Source: Guardian

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Business / FG Sets Up Panel On Tax- Related Intelligence by innerkonsult1: 1:09pm On May 28
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed on Friday in Abuja, inaugurated a steering committee for ‘Project Lighthouse’ initiative. ‘Project Lighthouse’ is the government’s data mining unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance, saddled with the responsibility of compiling data of tax payers during the implementation of the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme.
The Steering Committee is made up of representatives from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Joint Tax Board, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Security and Exchange Commission. Other members are, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja Geographical Information System, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Special Presidential Initiatives on Recovery of Public Properties, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission, Budget Office of the Federation, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Department of Petroleum Resources and National Bureau of Statistics. Ahmed while inaugurating the committee said it was part of initiatives targeted at boosting the revenue drive of the nation’s economy.

Source: Punch

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Business / ‘it’s Not The Job Of NASS To Demand Tax Clearance From Journalists’ by innerkonsult1: 11:33am On May 28
The publisher of National Daily Newspaper, Sylvester Ebodaghe, has questioned the National Assembly on the new guidelines released for the accreditation of journalists. Ebodaghe during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said it is not the job of the Parliament to demand a journalist’s tax clearance before authorizing them to cover plenary. “All around the world, we have guidelines. We are not against guidelines; we want you to be clear as to who is coming into your space.
“But to start demanding for tax clearance that you must have a patron or circulation figure verifiable of not less than 40,000, the US Congress is not asking for your patron. They just want to be sure that you are gainfully employed. “And that you will not abuse your privilege of having access to the chambers. And I think that is what we should be looking at. And not necessarily your tax clearance. They are not CAC; they are not FIRS. So it’s not their job to start asking for a tax clearance,” he said. National Assembly Releases Details Of Its 2018 Budget His comment comes two days after the National Assembly released new guidelines for accreditation of media organizations, journalists/correspondents covering the Senate effective June 11, 2019. NASS in a letter signed by its Director of Information, Agada Emmanuel noted that all previous accreditation granted will lapse with the dissolution of the 8th Assembly. Ebodgahe during the interview on Wednesday recalled that when the Senate had issues on the invasion and theft of mace, the media was solidly behind it. He then wondered why the Parliament would issue out such a directive suggesting it may have a problem with media practitioners. “This Assembly when it came under intense pressure during the invasion and all the crisis it has gone through, the best friend the National Assembly had was the media. “So what problem do they possibly have with the media? All the tweets that were reproduced on various platforms, they were enjoying the manage. So it didn’t really matter who was drawing the attention to their plight as it were,” he stated. Meanwhile, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said that the leadership of the Eight Assembly are not aware of the new guidelines to journalists reporting the National Assembly. The Speaker, on Tuesday, said the leadership of the legislative arm is committed to the freedom of the press and promised to investigate the allegation promptly.

Source: Channel

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Business / Taxation, A Different Profession Entirely, Says Fasoto by innerkonsult1: 9:11am On May 28
The immediate past National President/Chairman of the Council of Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, Mr Gabriel Fasoto, has disabused the minds of many young tax practitioners when he said the practice of taxation as a profession is a distinct discipline from accountancy. The past president, Chartered Institute of Taxation said the clarification was necessary because many people were ignorant of the existing facts.
He spoke at the 40th induction ceremony of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria in Lagos where 560 were inducted among whom was an 82-year old man. The guest speaker’s address was titled ‘Can I earn a living with my Chartered Tax Practitioner?’ Fasoto said, “A question that has been bothering many of you is why taxation is a separate profession from Accountancy in Nigeria. Some people have even brainwashed some of us that it is only in Nigeria that this situation exist.” But the guest disagreed with a verifiable fact when he took the participants down the memory lane when he said, “The Institute of Chartered accountants of England and Wales, the oldest Accountancy Institute in the world, was granted the Royal Charter on 11th May, 1880. Going through the Charter, there was no mention of taxation therein.” He explained that before he chose to become a registered member of the CITN and as an existing member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, he “specifically” went through the Act establishing ICAN and CITN and found out that there was no functions overlapping between the two professional bodies.

Source: Punch 

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Business / FIRS Will Exceed N5.32trn Revenue Collection In 2019 – Fowler by innerkonsult1: 3:42pm On May 27
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Tuesday said it will surpass in 2019 the N5.32 trillion it generated in 2018. The N5.32 trillion remains its highest yearly collection so far. In a paper titled: “The imperatives of regulatory processes, procedures and compliance in the Nigerian business sector” presented at a forum organized by the Nigerian-German Business Association in collaboration with The Nation in Lagos, FIRS Chairman Babatunde Fowler said the agency realized N1.6 trillion between January and March.
Before 2018, the highest revenue made by the Service was N5.07 trillion in 2012. Represented by a FIRS Deputy Director, Sunday Okeowo, Fowler said the Service for the first time crossed the N1 trillion threshold in Value Added Tax (VAT) collection in 2018. Another achievement was the e-stamp duties collection, which is also on a steady increase, and a collection of N15.66 billion last year. His words: “Year on year, with the exception of the year 2016, the collection performance of the FIRS grew by an average of 21per cent for the four year period.” According to him, technological initiatives introduced by FIRS in delivering taxpayers services such as e-payment channel, e-receipt among others have contributed immensely to tax collection. Nigerian-German Business Association Director-General Gbenga Adebija said non-compliance to regulations by operators hinders growth in the industry. Against a backdrop of operating concerns, he said Nigerian businesses are being outpaced by their international rivals in terms of revenue and profit growth because of regulatory challenges. Despite this, he said local businesses still spend a great deal of time and money ensuring that they are compliant with commercial, tax, health and safety and environmental laws. He said compliance with regulations would eliminate crisis in the industry and guarantee the long-term viability of the industry. He observed, however, that compliance should not be seen as a burden but as an opportunity to improve business efficiency. Adebija said there was a need for business owners in the country to follow the laid down principles and the guidelines set up the government to end the unstructured and relatively chaotic business environment and erosion of profit margins. National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Director-General Prof Mojisola Adeyeye said the enhancing food safety mechanism to make sure food offered for import meets the nation’s food safety requirements. Speaking through her Special Assistant, Prof Adeyeye said there was increased surveillance to keeps out unsafe foods, and effective response when unsafe imported food is found, and that the agency has an effective and efficient food import programme. According to her, enhanced inspections at ports of entry and foreign food facilities, are part of the strategy to improve its oversight of imported foods.

Source: The News Guru

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Business / NALPGAM Hails Removal Of VAT On LPG, Seeks Reduction In Duty by innerkonsult1: 2:25pm On May 27
The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), has commended the decision of the Federal Government to remove Value Added Tax (VAT) from domestically produced Liquefied Petroleum Gas otherwise known as Cooking Gas.
According to the association, the Federal Government signed the approval of VAT removal on LPG and gazetted same, after several pleas by operators for the removal. Meanwhile, the group also appealed for a reduction on import duty on LPG equipment and accessories.“On behalf of the Governing Council and members of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), the President of our association, Nosa Ogieva-Okunbor, wishes to express his profound gratitude and thanks to the Federal Government and all relevant Government agencies for listening to our plea to remove VAT from LPG products sourced locally. “We also want to use this opportunity to thank and appreciate the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for the timely directive stopping the inappropriate and indiscriminate installation of Skid plants in petrol stations. “The directive that all skid plants in filling stations be dismantled and removed was apt considering the huge danger and risk to the public in the operations of LPG Skid plants in filling stations. We, however, appeal for proper and thorough implementation of the directive in all States of the Federation”, the Association said in a statement. The association, however, urged the federal government to create a more conducive and enabling environment for investors in the industry, noting that deepening the consumption of LPG in the country has become a major interest of the Government and marketers towards ensuring the success of the programme. “The increased awareness of LPG usage has seen consumption in Nigeria growing from 50,000MT in 2007 to over 600,000MT in 2018 with more indigenous investments in LPG bottling plants. This thus will ensure that majority of Nigerians enjoy the convenience of the proximity of LPG refill or exchange points. “We implore the Federal and State Governments to initiate a well-funded social welfare programme to expand usage of LPG”, the operators added.

Source: Guardian

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Business / Using Tax Revenue To Sustain Govt by innerkonsult1: 10:33am On May 27
With the price of oil tumbling drastically to $48.86 per barrel in October 2015, after which it slid further to $44.82 the following month and $37.80 in the last month of the year, the signs were bold that Nigeria was facing a major economic crisis. The implication of the slump in revenue derivable from oil, the major source of funding for country’s infrastructural and human development aspirations, was that the then new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had flown into the most inclement weather possible. Public expectations of a national boom time were sky-high, but were almost immediately shattered, as government at all levels was hamstrung in the discharge of its responsibilities and obligations. At the state level, government, with the exception of a handful of states, for example, was unable to pay civil servants’ salaries and pensions to retirees let alone develop ideas for life-altering infrastructure projects and human development initiatives. Earlier in August that year, with the Federal Government left with no option than to look internally for revenue, especially from previously neglected sources, President Buhari appointed Mr. Tunde Fowler as chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). Fowler’s appointment was widely well received because he had been a consistently vocal voice against the country’s heavy reliance on oil revenue and, more crucially, on account of his headship of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), during which the internally generated revenue (IGR) rose from a monthly average of N3.6 billion in 2006 to over N20 billion between 2006 and 2015. He met Lagos as a state unable to generate sufficient revenue from the vastness of its economic activities, and reformed revenue collection and administration processes to make Lagos the model of the genre. Yet, there was the question of whether or not he was capable of reprising what he did in Lagos State at the national level. That question, the figures show, has been answered with a resounding “Yes” in four years, a period during which the country slipped into recession. A little over a week ago, it was announced that the country’s taxable population figure was approaching a record 45 million. In 2015, the figure was 10 million, rose to 14 million in 2017, and 19 million in 2018. Last year, the FIRS collected N5.32 trillion, the highest ever in the history of the federal revenue agency. The preceding year, the agency collected N4.02 trillion and, in 2016, N3.3 trillion. The revenue growth, in spite of the country’s economic challenges, has been attributed to a variety of reform initiatives conceived to expand the tax net, block leakages and make tax collection methods more efficient. It has also been helped by enhanced collaboration with other stakeholders such as the Joint Tax Board (JTB) and other government agencies and a virile enforcement strategy, resulting in improved taxpayer compliance and collection of huge tax debts from defaulters, review of the National Tax Policy, amendment of tax laws and use of technology.

Source: the Sun

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Business / FHC Confirms The Supremacy Of The CITN Act... by innerkonsult1: 9:02am On May 27
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Tuesday, 21st May 2019, has for the umpteenth time held that only members of the CITN can practice taxation in Nigeria pursuant to the relevant provisions of the CITN Act. This was the outcome of the suit instituted in 2018 by five members of ICAN by way of originating summons challenging the authority of FIRS to recognize the power of CITN to regulate the tax profession in Nigeria in all its ramifications.
The Court further held that Regulation 5 of the Tax Administration (Self-Assessment) Regulations, 2011, which purports to allow members of ICAN, ANAN, and CITN to co-jointly file tax returns on behalf of taxpayers, where taxpayers opt to hire tax agents for reward, was in conflict with the extant provisions of the CITN Act. Consequently, the Court dismissed the suit of the plaintiffs and awarded cost of N200,000 in favor of the defendants. This decision is a re-affirmation of the decisions of the Lagos State High Court in 2007 and the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, in 2013, re-stating that only CITN can regulate taxation, and only its members can practice taxation in Nigeria. FIRS, therefore, acted legally vide its letter to the CITN of 23rd April 2018, which stated that only CITN stamp and seal will be recognized by FIRS, with effect from 2nd January 2019, for the purpose of filing tax returns in FIRS. The Institute will issue further releases after its legal team obtains the certified true copy of the judgment. This decision has in no way encumbered the about 10,000 ICAN members in CITN from practicing taxation. Its only result is that those ICAN members, who are not members of the CITN, cannot practice taxation or file tax returns until they become chartered CITN members.

Source: Brand spur 

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Business / Stakeholders Oppose FIRS Bid To Tax Online Transactions by innerkonsult1: 5:04pm On May 23
Stakeholders have rejected plans by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to tax online transactions, saying it will amount to double taxation. Chairman of FIRS, Mr Babatunde Fowler, yesterday, while speaking in New York, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the agency will soon begin collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on online transactions. Fowler said: “Soon, we will ask banks to impose VAT on online transactions for purchases of goods and services. Not that it is something new; it actually should be in existence.
“We will certainly follow up to make sure that every VAT that is due to be collected is collected.” He explained that the move was part of measures by FIRS to meet its N8 trillion revenue target for 2019. Fowler said the agency had started taking action against companies and businesses that refused to embrace Federal Government’s tax amnesty programme. According to him, FIRS hopes to generate between N750 billion and N1 trillion from the clampdown, which includes closure of defaulters’ bank accounts. “We are going after everybody. I am sure you have heard that we have placed lien on some accounts of defaulters that have a billion naira turnover annually. “So, certainly, we are not leaving anyone out of the tax net,” he said. Officially known as the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme, the tax amnesty programme was launched in 2017. It gave tax defaulters a one-year period of grace to declare and settle their unpaid taxes. There have been complaints by some taxpayers of being wrongly targeted by FIRS in the clampdown. Asked to comment on that, Fowler admitted, blaming it on “administrative error,” arising from the huge number of accounts involved. “Well, there is certainly one or two instances where we made administrative error, but when you are looking at over 50,000 accounts, there is a tendency that sometimes an error might be made. “For those that we made errors on, I wrote them personally apologising and of course, we lifted the lien on their accounts.” However, reacting to the development, head of Tax and Corporate Advisory Services at PwC Nigeria, Taiwo Oyedele, said the Federal Internal Revenue Service does not have the capacity to tax online transactions, which are not already being taxed in the country. Commenting on the statement by the head of the FIRS, that the service will commence imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on online transactions in the country, Oyedele, “I don’t know whether they needed to say it. “The reality is that if you go online to make transactions on Jumia or any of these platforms, there is already VAT.
If you book a hotel online in Nigeria, there is already VAT on it, so the online businesses and transactions that are owned by entities in Nigeria, already pay the VAT. The FIRS does not have to impose the VAT on them, it is already being paid. “To book a flight online, you pay VAT. Now, where the difficulty is, is when you do the online service by a provider outside Nigeria, for example if you go on Amazon and you order a product, because Amazon is not a Nigerian company, then there is no Nigerian VAT. “So, the way that is done is that you pay them the full amount and they ship to you in Nigeria, by the time it gets to customs, if the amount is below the threshold where you don’t have to pay, you don’t pay anything. So, the question is how the FIRS would be able to impose VAT. If you want to watch a movie on Netflix, you just go to Netflix to subscribe, you pay and then watch a movie. The ones where they can impose, VAT are already being imposed. The ones where VAT is not currently being charged, the FIRS has no mechanism to be able to do that so it will be interesting to know exactly what they have in mind. “It is not just about Nigeria, it is a global problem that is why we have the global committee on the digital economy and they are trying to fix it because it is not a problem that one country can solve. It is a problem that requires the whole world to come together.” Mr Razack Olaegbe, deputy managing director, eMaginations Limited, advised the FIRS to engage the e-commerce and online companies before carrying out any clampdown action, stating that many of the e-commerce firms are yet to break even. “Clamping down on the companies should not be the first step, FIRS needs to engage them to understand their business model, find out if they are making money. Jumia and Konga, are they profitable? E-commerce is yet to thrive in this country. We shouldn’t use threats of clampdowns arbitrarily as it scares away foreign investors,” he said.

Source: Leadership

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