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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Lagos ready to collect VAT, may exempt SMEs after review of law

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The Lagos State Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) has said it is ready for the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) in compliance with the state law.

Assistant Director of Taxes, LIRS, Adetola Olanrewaju, in response to questions during the LCCI’s ‘SMEGroup Workshop on Assisting MSMEs with Regulatory Compliance’ said, “Lagos State is prepared for VAT collection, but any matter still in the court is not for public consumption.”

Olanrewaju represented the LIRS chairman, Hamzat Subair, at the event held to inform SMEs on tax compliance.

“We’ve been collecting state tax before now, and we’ve been collecting occupancy tax. So, we are prepared for VAT collection, but we are waiting on the judgement.

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“The LIRS has the manpower, staff, we are qualified academically and professionally. We are prepared for the job,” he said.

When asked why the Lagos VAT law did not exempt small and medium-sized enterprises from VAT he said, “The Lagos State House of Assembly said they will look into it.

“If there is need for any adjustment, it will be made. But what I am sure of is that the pharmaceuticals are exempted, but where there are issues presently, it will be considered in public interest.”

When asked whom companies in the state will pay their September VAT remittance to, Olanrewaju said, “As a government, we cannot act out of the court. As far as we are concerned, we have to wait for the judgement of the court as a state.”

A three-man panel of Appeal Court justices led by Justice Hassan Tsammani had ordered all parties in the VAT tussle to maintain status quo and refrain from taking any action that would give effect to the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.

The court ordered that the status quo ante bellum be maintained.

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