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Bank Customers To Present Tax Card, TIN From January 2020

Peter Okunoren

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Evidence of tax payment will be a condition for operating a bank account from January, according to the Financial bill passed by the National Assembly.

The Bill, submitted to the lawmakers with Budget 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari, is designed to improve the financial operations of the country and streamline the tax regime.

It is expected to be signed with the budget before the end of the month, to actualize the return to the January – December budget cycle.

According to a section of the Bill, banks will require anybody opening an account to provide his Tax Identification Number (TIN)

Those who already have accounts with banks will also be required to provide their TIN.

There are 30 million Bank Verification Numbers (BVN)-linked accounts.

The intention is to make sure that more people are captured into the tax net.

According to the Joint Tax Board, the tax identification number (TIN) is a unique identifier for an individual or a company for tax remittance.

The TIN is prepared by the tax office and issued for proper identification and verification.

Applying for TIN is free. The TIN generation process is real-time and should not exceed 48 hours after a request is submitted.

Another major feature of the Financial Bill is the hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) to 7.5 per cent from the extant five per cent.

Also in the bill, emails will be accepted by the tax authorities as a formal channel of correspondence with taxpayers.

The bill will also strategically “promote fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; reform domestic tax laws to align with global best practices; introduce tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets; support small businesses in line with the ongoing Ease of Doing Business Reforms; and raise revenues for the Government by various fiscal measures.”

Under the proposed Personal Income Tax Act: the bill will state that pension contributions no longer require the approval of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) to be tax-deductible.

The bill when signed into law, will remove the tax exemption on withdrawals from pension schemes except the prescribed conditions are met.

The bill will come up with a penalty for failure to deduct tax by agents appointed for tax deduction. This penalty is 10 per cent of the tax not deducted, plus interest at the prevailing monetary policy rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The conditions attached to tax exemption on gratuities will be removed by the bill, meaning that gratuities are unconditionally tax exempt. The duties currently performed by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) as it relates to administering the Personal Income Tax Act, will now be performed by the FIRS.

Another penalty that will come into effect when the bill becomes law will be the penalty for the late filing of the Value Added Tax (VAT) returns.

The penalty for failure to register for VAT will be reviewed upwards to N50,000 for the first month of default and N25,000 for each subsequent month of default.

The penalty for failure to notify FIRS of change in company address will be reviewed upwards to N50,000 for the first month of default and N25,000 for each subsequent month of default. This penalty also covers the failure to notify FIRS of permanent cessation of trade or business.

Similar to the VAT amendment, the bill is also introducing Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption on Group reorganizations, subject to the following conditions being met.

They are:

Assets are sold to a Nigerian company and is for the better organization of the trade or business;
The entities involved are within a recognized group 365 days before the transaction, and the relevant assets are not disposed of earlier than 365 days after the transaction.

The current practice is that companies send an approval request letter under CITA S29(9) to the FIRS, and include a CGT exemption request. Currently, the CGT Act imposes CGT on compensation for loss of employment above N10,000.

The bill seeks to expand the coverage of this provision by renaming it “compensation for loss” and increase the minimum threshold from N10,000 to N10 million.

BIG STORY

Dusk-To-Dawn Curfew Begins On Sunday In Lagos —- Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Lagos starting from Sunday to allow the state to carry out comprehensive disinfection of the metropolis.

He also said the state would close the domestic airport.

He said, “I am hereby directing a statewide curfew from 8pm to 6am, starting from Sunday until further notice. This is to enable us to carry out comprehensive disinfection of the Lagos Metropolis.

“I am pleased to note that we have taken possession of over 200 disinfecting machines, and starting today, we will be disinfecting all major highways, bus stops, markets, parks, and other public areas.

“With effect from Sunday, we will be closing the domestic airport in Lagos, the General Aviation Terminal and the MM2. All movements in and out of Lagos through the two domestic terminals will, therefore, be suspended from Sunday for two weeks in the first instance. The only exceptions will be flights carrying essential supplies and those on emergency operations.”

He further said traveling in and out of Lagos would be restricted on Sunday, adding that all inter-state motor parks should shut down for two weeks.

The governor also signed into law the Emergency Coronavirus Pandemic Bill 2020 passed by the House of Assembly.

The law empowers the governor to punish violators of the shutdown order policy.

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BREAKING: Explosion Rocks Ondo, Hundreds Of Buildings Destroyed [PHOTOS]

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Over 100 hundred buildings were in the early hours of Saturday destroyed following an explosion that rocked Ondo State.

The explosion happened in the early hours of Saturday at Eleyowo, Akure, along Owo-Akure highway around 1 a.m.

According to residents of the area, a terrifying loud bang was heard when everyone was already asleep.

Also affected in the explosion was a full boarding school, Aina Awawul Secondary School, one of the most popular churches in Akure, Possibility Ground Ministry, as well as a filling station and hundreds of buildings.

The highway was cut off with hundreds of travelers stranded.

Police officers and other security agencies are already on ground to assess the situation.

Details later…

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COVID-19: Anxiety In kebbi Over Governor Bagudu’s Status

Gbemileke Ajayi

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There is tension among top government officials in Kebbi state over the health status of Governor Atiku Bagudu after he came in contact with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari who had been tested positive to the virus.

Governor Bagudu held a series of meetings at the Presidential Villa last week where he was alleged to have come in contact with the Chief of Staff.

It was also observed that the governor had allegedly gone into self-isolation in his private home in Birnin kebbi, a day after it was confirmed that COS Abba Khari was tested positive to Covid-19.

Governor Bagudu since his return from Abuja a few days ago held an emergency meeting with various stakeholders in the state including the Emir of Gwandu, Emir of Argungu, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, SSG, Commissioners, special advisers, permanent secretaries, directors, and chairmen of local governments in the state, to chart the best course of action for the financial future of the state, and also ways to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, that was the last public appearance of the Governor.

Meanwhile, he has since directed that civil servants in the state stay at home for two weeks except for the conventional workers.

This development, our correspondent gathered has generated a lot of anxiety in the state, especially among top government functionaries and other critical stakeholders who have come in contact with the governor.

When our correspondent contacted the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Mallam.Yahaya Sirki to Know whether the governors is on self-isolation to prevent further spreading? he stated: that “the governor is not on self-isolation.

The directive to stay at home does not involve the media and the security and those on essential services. What actually happened in Govt House yesterday is just to reduce the number of people entering the government house including the media and security they were asked to go home until when needed. But even at this point, some journalist and security are still retained in Govt House. I repeat my Governor is not on self-isolation” he added.

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