August 2021 VAT Compliance: What to Know and Do

August 2021 VAT Compliance: What to Know and Do

  1. We take a break today from the VAT Politics and the Search for Focus series and the analytics that adorn it and torch on the more pressing issue of what you need to know and do with your August 2021 Value Added Tax (VAT) compliance.
  2. As you may know, you were ordinarily to have computed, remitted and filed your August 2021 VAT Returns before Tuesday, September 21, 2021. In actual fact and as at today the morning of Thursday, September 16, 2021, you are still exactly to do as you have always done in the circumstance that nothing has really changed despite the fast-moving currents. The VAT you have collected on behalf of FIRS is still payable to it.
  3. Since the publication of VAT Politics and the Search for Focus (Part 2) , the following new developments have been unearthed or happened in the ongoing VAT wars:
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VAT Politics and the Search for Focus (Part 2)

Lagos State Government joined the Rivers State Government earlier today and became the second State to enact its VAT Law in Nigeria. This event was indeed foreseen from Monday, September 6, 2021, when the Federal High Court (FHC) sitting at Port Harcourt, Rivers State in Attorney General for Rivers State v. FIRS & Another, refused to grant the FIRS’ application for the stay of execution of the August 9, 2021 decision of the FHC. The FHC had on August 9, 2021, declared the VAT Act 1993 (as amended), unconstitutional. Although the FHC’s August 9, 2021 decision was in the manner of a declaration of the law, in which case nothing was to be executed or executable, yet the FIRS had proceeded to apply for the stay of execution, apparently seeing the implication of the August 9, 2021 decision on its VAT revenue collection mandate for the Federation.

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VAT Politics and the Search for Focus

It has been a busy time for Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); not necessarily because of the increase in its 2021 Value Added Tax (VAT) collections (for the first time, it grossed +N1trillion in VAT collections in the first half of a year), more because of the many fights it’s embroiled in. One major fight is the bid by some States, led by Rivers and Lagos States, to take control of the collection and appropriation of VAT within their territories. Armed with the August 9, 2021 decision of Nigeria’s Federal High Court (FHC) sitting at Port Harcourt in Attorney General for Rivers State v. FIRS & Another, the States claim to their VAT revenue is that the Federal VAT Act 1993 (as amended) is unconstitutional. It would appear that Rivers State enacted its VAT Law No. 4 of 2021 on August 19, 2021 on the strength of the decision while Lagos State has promised that its VAT Law is in the offing. Earlier on December 11, 2020, same FHC sitting at Port Harcourt in Emmanuel Ukala v. FIRS & Another had held that the FIRS had no authority or jurisdiction to audit or investigate the Plaintiffs for VAT among other Federal taxes and that the appropriate tax authority is the Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue. Yet earlier, same FHC, this time, sitting in Lagos State had in October 2019, in Registered Trustees of Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos v. Attorney General of the Federation & Another declared the charging provisions of the VAT Act (specifically Sections 1,2,4,5 and 12 thereof) unconstitutional.

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THE TAXAIDER NEWSLETTER VOL 3, ISSUE 8 (AUGUST 2021)

First Thoughts: To Give or Not to give unto Caesar

Sometime last week, I came across a meme on social media. It was basically a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation where the first person said “Hello, my name is Caesar” and the response of the other person was “Caesar, abeg wetin be your own no dey my hand o!” If you’re a student of the Bible or did some CRK at some point in school, you would remember the part where the Pharisees in a bid to test Jesus Christ asked him if it was right to pay taxes unto Caesar. Jesus responded with the line “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s” and that is how that powerful quote came about.

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Capital Gains Tax: What You Need To Know

“The tax on capital gains directly affects investment decisions, the mobility and flow of risk capital… the ease or difficulty experienced by new ventures in obtaining capital, and thereby the strength and potential for growth in the economy”. John F. Kennedy

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax on the profit obtained from disposal or exchange of certain kinds of assets. In Nigeria, Capital Gains Tax is charged at a flat rate of 10% of chargeable gains. It is governed by Capital Gains Tax Act, Cap CI LFN 2004 (as amended). All chargeable assets are subject to Capital Gains Tax when disposed at a gain, except those specifically exempted by the Act. This includes disposal on decorations awarded for valour and gallant conduct, life insurance policy, Nigerian government securities, stock and shares, etc.

Allowable expenditure for the purpose of CGT comprises of but not limited to fees, commissions or remunerations paid for professional services, as well as cost of transfer.

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THE TAXAIDER NEWSLETTER VOL 3, ISSUE 7 (JULY 2021)

First Thoughts: Between Self Determination and Freedom of Choice

As much as I do not particularly like to get political or join issues with the current realities on the nation’s administrative and political landscape, I have to admit I have been quite fascinated by the occurrences of the last few weeks. Two public figures have been at the center of the storm and interestingly, they come from two major parts of the country.

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Tax Compliance: What You Need To Know

The meaning of tax compliance in its most basic form is generally defined as the degree to which taxpayers comply with the tax laws.

There is the question whether ‘compliance’ refers to deliberate or obligatory conduct. In the event that taxpayers ‘agree’ simply because of critical dangers or provocation or both, this would not give off an impression of being a proper compliance regardless of whether 100% of the tax were raised in accordance with the ‘tax gap’ idea of noncompliance. All things being equal, it very well may be contended that effective tax administration expects taxpayers to comply willingly, without the requirement for enquiries, investigations, or the danger of utilization of legal or administrative sanctions. A more suitable definition of tax compliance might therefore be the taxpayers’ ability and willingness to comply with tax laws which are determined by ethics, legal environment and other situational factors at a particular time and place.  

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FIRS TAX AUDIT: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

THE FIRS

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is an establishment of the Federal Government of Nigeria, saddled with the responsibility to administer taxes and collect the taxes due from all registered companies (either domiciled in Nigeria or offshore) that generate revenue from Nigeria. That said, all registered companies are obliged to file all relevant tax returns and remit all taxes (Corporate Income Taxes and Transactional Taxes) to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the FIRS.

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