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BIG STORY

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

Blackmailer On The Trail of Seyi Tinubu, Demands For N7million

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Activities of some unscrupulous element who are of the opinion that they can make quick money through blackmail were brought to fore recently when one unidentified individual called up the number of the Executive Chairman of Loatsad Promo media, Mr. Seyi Tinubu and demanded a whopping N7million so they will not soil his name on the social media.

The blackmailer, according to sources close to the hardworking philanthropist had placed a call through to the energetic young entrepreneur and claimed he is in possession of a video of him fighting a club manager in Lekki during the COVID-19 ordered lockdown and that he will be taking such to the social media except he’s paid to keep quiet.

Though Seyi who is sure he was never in such a situation had called his bluff and asked him to go ahead, his friends and close associates are of the belief that the activities of such individual should be made known to the public in other for such false and malicious plan not to soil the good-standing his company and his family are enjoying on the heart of Nigerians.

The blackmailer we gathered hid the number with which he’s making the call and claimed he’s a journalist but failed to name the medium he’s working with, an act which is against rules of the journalism profession thereby showing clearly he’s a criminal trying to give the noble pen-pushing profession a bad name.

It was not too long that a young man now in the net of the police has resorted to blackmail to extort money from legendary Nigerian female musician Salawa Abeni before he was exposed and is currently facing the tune of the music.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Churches, Mosques Remain Shut In Lagos, Says Commissioner

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The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said that churches and mosques in the state might not be reopened soon for worshippers.

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said this on the sideline of the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing commemorating the first year in office of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Federal Government had on Monday, June 1, lifted the ban on mosques and churches in the country, based on guidelines and protocols agreed with state governments.

Elegushi said that the reopening of the worship centers was not possible soon, as the state was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

”Even before the pronouncement by the Federal Government, we have been having meetings with the religious leaders, we even had one with Safety Commission, looking at the possibility of reopening of religious houses.

”We also had one with the leaders of the two faiths and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, the possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally.

”They claimed that they cannot take such responsibility of ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are praying behind them.

”Like an Imam said, he doesn’t know what is going on at the back immediately he is leading a prayer. He said if more than 20 or 50 people are staying at his back he is not going to take responsibility for their presence.

”So, in the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so.

”The Federal Government mentioned it, but it never ruled out the state in achieving that pronouncement, so all states will have to look at the possibility of doing so in their respective states.

”We all know Lagos is still having more figures. So definitely that will speak to our decision,” he said.

The commissioner, however, said that the governor of the state would come out with further directives on the matter.

(NAN)

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Senate Approves Buhari’s $5.513bn External Loan Request

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The Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s $5.513 billion external loan request to finance the revised 2020 budget.

The approval followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Clifford Odia (Edo Central) by the upper chamber.

Buhari has in his letter of request, said that the $5.513 billion external loan is to enable the Federal Government to fund the 2020 revised budget.

However, the components of the external loan which is to enable the Federal Government to execute its priority projects and for projects to support State Governments in stimulating their economy which has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was stood down by the Senate due to lack of requisite details.

Details shortly….

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