Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Nigeria work to harmonise tax policies

The Nigerian government is currently working at harmonising its various tax and excise law reform efforts in order to boost revenue and reduce the cost of doing business in the country.

To this end, the Technical Committee of the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee said it will soon be presenting a Finance Bill and Policy Note to the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning.

According to the deputy chairman of the committee, Dr Bode Oyetunde, the bill when approved would deal with some areas of tax inequity as well as address grey areas in international taxation.

Oyetunde stated this at the second sitting of the committee held at the head office of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

He said the bill when approved by the minister would be sent to the Federal Executive Council for consideration and approval before it would be forwarded to the National Assembly for legislative scrutiny.

The committee hopes that with constitutional backing, the bill would properly address issues in international taxation such as profit shifting and base erosion.

Base erosion and profit shifting refers to corporate tax planning strategies used by multinationals to move profits from higher tax jurisdictions to lower tax jurisdictions, thus eroding the tax base of the higher tax jurisdictions.

“We are working to put up a finance bill and policy note to the minister of finance that will raise revenue and reduce the cost of doing business in Nigeria; deal with some areas of tax inequity; deal with some areas in international taxation like profit shifting and base erosion,” Oyetunde said.

Mr. Tunde Fowler, chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, had during the inauguration of the technical sub-committee charged members to work harmoniously to achieve the desired results.

“I charge the Chairman and members of the Technical Committee with the responsibility of accelerating the drafting and submission of a draft Finance Bill and if deemed necessary, any draft Executive Order(s), to harmonize the various tax and excise law reform efforts.

“It is our expectation that the Technical Committee will work assiduously over the next few weeks to produce a singular set of fiscal measures that will be considered and approved by the reconstituted NTPIC.

“Once agreed, these fiscal measures are to be submitted to the Economic Management Team and the Federal Executive Council for approval and ultimate transmission to the National Assembly, for passage into law as part of the efforts to support the 2020 Executive Budget Proposal.”

The general committee is headed by Mr. Fowler, while the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, as the deputy chairman.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Economic Matters in the Office of the Vice President, Adeolu Dipeolu, is the chairman of the technical sub-committee.

The sub-committee is expected to conclude its assignment in the next 10 to 15 days after which it will send the proposed finance bill to the minister of finance.



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