2022 PAYE RETURNS FILING: 4 IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW

PAYE

Filing of PAYE for employers of labour is a seasonal exercise. It comes in the first month of every year. Employers of labour are mandated by section 81 of the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) to file annual returns which contains the income paid to their employees, PAYE deducted and remitted to the relevant tax authorities on behalf of the employees in an assessment year. In this piece we would review the PAYE returns filing process as this is what is required first before the PIT filing returns.

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OECD BEPS Action Plan: How has Nigeria Faired?

Introduction:

Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) actions were developed in the context of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) /G20 BEPS Project. The 15 BEPS actions equip governments with domestic and international rules and instruments to address tax avoidance, ensuring that profits are taxed where economic activities generating the profits are performed and where value is created.

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Finance Act 2022: What to Expect

Introduction:

The Fiscal Policy Reforms Committee (FPRC) while acting under the directive of the Minister of Finance has annually updated the Finance Act to respond to changing realities in the economy in order to actualize a major objective of the National Tax Policy, 2017, which is to cautiously create a flexible and dynamic fiscal atmosphere that perpetually accommodates changing economic circumstances without resulting in a volatile tax system that unsettles economic activities.

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LIRS Tax Audit Exercise: Are Your Books in Shape?

Introduction:

The steadily plummeting revenue accruing to the Government annually has led to the need to diversify the country’s revenue generation portfolio by exploring prospects of non-crude-oil-related revenue generating activities and undertaking thorough well-thought-out measures to block revenue leakages in the economy. Hence, the attempts being made to tighten the country’s fiscal policy measures and to fish out non-conforming taxpayers.

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FIRS APPOINTS TELCOS AND DEPOSIT MONEY BANKS AS AGENTS FOR THE PURPOSES OF VAT COLLECTION

By a Public Notice titled ‘Value Added Tax Act (CAP V1, LFN 2004) (as amended): Appointment of Certain Companies to Withhold VAT’, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) informed the public of the appointment of MTN, Airtel, All Money Deposit Banks (As Defined by the CBN Guidelines) (Appointees) as agents to withhold Value Added Tax (VAT) charged on all taxable supplies made to them effective 1st January 2023.

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Administration of Stamp Duty in Nigeria

Introduction:

Stamp duty is a tax levied on physical and electronic instruments listed in the Schedule to the Stamp Duties Act (as amended). Some of such instruments include Receipts, Agreements, Contracts, etc. Instruments executed in Nigeria are required to be stamped on or before execution, however, a grace of 40 days from the first execution is provided; while unstamped or in- sufficiently stamped instruments first executed outside Nigeria should be stamped within thirty days after it is first received in Nigeria.

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FIRS Commences Automation of Taxes on Online Gaming Activities in Nigeria

Introduction:

By a Public Notice dated October 2022 and captioned “Real Time Direct Collection of Taxes from Online Gaming Transactions”, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) notified the general public of the commencement of automation of the administration of tax on online gaming activities in Nigeria, with the objective of such automation being to simplify tax compliance for companies engaged in online gaming activities through deduction of taxes at transaction points and direct remittance to the Government’s Treasury.

It was announced in the Public Notice that the automation will be executed using the Sentinal Payment Gateway and Electronic Solutions (Sentinal Gateway). Consequently, the FIRS mandates all operators providing online gaming services in Nigeria to connect to Sentinal Gateway on or before 31 December 2022 as sanctions will be meted out on non-compliant companies. Likewise, foreign companies offering online gaming services in Nigeria are required to connect to Sentinal Gateway for the purpose of collection and remittance of taxes.

Our Comments:

There exists a multiplicity of gaming legislation at both federal and state levels yet, there remains an unresolved controversy as to whether it is the state or federal government that has the power to collect gaming taxes. It is, however, commonly argued that gaming, being an item found neither on the Exclusive nor Concurrent Legislative Lists, is a residual matter over which a State House of Assembly has powers in accordance with Section 4(7)(a)&(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended (CFRN).

This argument is strengthened by the decision of the Court of Appeal in Micheal Umo Edet V Joseph Chagoon & Anor.[1], wherein the Court held that “… Pool Betting being in the Residual List of Legislation, must necessarily be regulated by a law of the House of Assembly and not that of the National Assembly …”. Despite of the foregoing, the Federal Government has continuously engaged in a tussle with the State Governments over the collection of gaming taxes.

Nonetheless, to achieve efficient execution of the tax automation process, such that leakages are blocked and transparency and accountability are promoted, an Application Program Interface that would allow the FIRS monitor real-time the activities of qualifying companies is recommended. This would eliminate the potential leakages that may result from the non-disclosure of some transactions entered into by gaming operators.

Relatedly, it is quite perplexing that the Government has chosen to execute the automation of the administration of online gaming activities by utilizing the Sentinal Gateway, a creation of a foreign Fintech company (e-Technologies Global Limited), despite the abundance in Nigeria of indigenous fintech companies with a robust portfolio showing competence to provide such services. It is difficult to concoct a reasonable explanation for the choice of the Government.

Conclusion:

Over the years, the gaming industry has contributed an insignificant percentage to the revenue target of the Federal Government when compared to the relatively robust revenue that the industry generates yearly. As such, the Government seeks to increase the revenue contribution from the gaming industry by automating taxation of online gaming activities such that there exists a central control system whereby activities of gaming operators are taxed at initiation and immediately remitted to the Government’s treasure. This system will eradicate leakages and ensure that appropriate taxes are charged on every online gaming transaction.

Please do not treat the foregoing as tax advice as it is only an expression of our Tax Information Service. All enquiries should please be directed to our TaxThursday Desk at resources@taxaide.com.ng; +234 700 TAXAIDE or any of our following personnel:

     Adeola Adefuye Associate a.adefuye@taxaide.com.ng  
           Bidemi Olumide Partner b.olumide@taxaide.com.ng  

[1] [2008] 2 NWLR


Charge of Value-Added Tax (VAT) on Services of Financial Institutions

Charge of Value-Added Tax (VAT) on Services of Financial Institutions

Introduction:

In terms of the Value Added Tax Act, as amended (VATA) a tax is imposed on all goods and services supplied in Nigeria. Goods and services are deemed to have been supplied in Nigeria upon issuance of an invoice or receipt by the supplier or upon receipt of consideration by the supplier or when consideration becomes due from the buyer.[1]

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Mergers – Procedure for obtaining Consent of the FIRS & Tax Considerations

  1. Introduction:
  1. By virtue of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018, a merger occurs when one or more undertakings directly or indirectly acquire or establish direct or indirect control over the whole or part of the business of another undertaking. A merger may be achieved through the purchase or lease of shares, interest, or assets of one of the merging parties by the other; (ii) amalgamation or other combination of the undertakings of the merging entities; or (iii) joint venture.
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Purported Suspension of Implementation of Excise Duty on Telecommunications

Introduction:

The Finance Act, 2020, (FA) amended Section 21 of the Customs and Excise Tariff, etc. (Consolidation) Act to impose an excise duty of 5% on telecommunication services provided in Nigeria. In furtherance of this provision of the FA, the Federal Government had through the Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Customs Service announced that it would begin implementation of the proposed 5% excise duties on telecommunication sometime in 2023.

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