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HomeTop NewsVAT Charges On Online Transactions Kick-Off Jan. 2020

VAT Charges On Online Transactions Kick-Off Jan. 2020

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Nigeria will begin to impose Value Added Tax (VAT) on online transactions, both domestic and international, with effective from January 2020, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Babatunde Fowler, Executive Chairman of FIRS said that a lot of countries in the world had identified Nigeria as a good market and many of them were into online businesses, adding that there was the need to tap the potentials to generate more revenue for the country.

“We have thrown it out to Nigerians. Effective from January 2020, we will ask banks to charge VAT on online transactions, both domestic and international.
“VAT remains the cash cow in most African countries, with an average VAT-to-total tax revenue rate of 31 percent. This is higher than the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s average of 20 percent.
“This statistics, therefore, is a validation of the need for us to streamline the administration of this tax with the full knowledge of its potential contributions to national budgets.
“It is, however, also bearing in mind the rights of our taxpayers,” he said.
He, however, said that that the date of commencement of the VAT on online transactions would be subject to government’s approval.
He said in Nigeria, for example, VAT is critical to the development of projects at all levels of government.
“VAT revenue is shared 15 percent to the Federal Government, 50 percent to state governments and 35 percent to local governments.
“FIRS wrote to all commercial banks in May 2018, requesting for a list of companies, partnerships and enterprises with a banking turnover of N1 billion and above.
“This activity is aimed at ascertaining those companies that are compliant with the tax laws and those that are not,” he said.
Fowler, who is also the chairman of ATAF, said that the African tax outlook gave some starting points on the questions to ask regarding some aspects of VAT.
“Why does VAT contribute 51 percent to total tax revenue in Senegal but only 17 percent in Nigeria? Why is the ratio on VAT refunds at 49 percent in Zambia but only one percent in The Gambia?” he queried.

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