Finance expert calls for review of Finance Act 2019

A finance expert, Mr. Kennedy Iwundu, has called for a review of the Finance Act 2019 to continuously improve on the ease of doing business in country.

In a paper presented   at the Chartered Institute of Taxation  of Nigeria (CITN),  Mandatory  Professional Training   Programme (MPTP), Iwundu, who spoke  on the Imperative   of Finance Act 2019, on  Doing Business in Nigeria also asked  that entities  exempted from paying  Value Added  Tax (VAT) should be  exempted from VAT returns.

Iwundu said the Finance Ac t should be reviewed in such a manner that states will be allowed to collect VAT and pay the Federal government 15% and retain 85%. This, he said, would go a long way to promote the diversification of the economy of the various states.

Reviewing the Finance Act, he noted, would also cut down the list of taxes and levies for collection, thus helping to cut down the incidence of double or multiple taxation and promote business environment in the country.

Iwundu said FIRS should further give more explanatory circulars of Finance Act especially on its implementation, as tax consultants and tax payers are still confused on certain implementation of the Act.

He suggested that the Finance Act should  review the stamp duty rates with a view to promoting the ease of doing business in Nigeria, noting that tax authorities and consultants have a huge responsibility in educating the tax payers on the nitty gritty of the Finance Act 2019.

He recommended  a revisit  of  the 0.5 per cent  minimum tax  on turnover  as it would  work against  companies  that have  cost  of sales ranging from  80 to 99 percent  of sales and that  the Federal Inland  Revenue Services (FIRS) should allow  taxpayers  to use such safe-charge VAT as an input VAT , thus helping  to reduce  the VAT burden on both payers and their customers; review  Finance Act  to specifically  state  the method  of computing VAT  penalties while  also  exempting stamp duties from  rent agreement of  residential properties  just as  VAT on  same has  been abolished  by  Executive Order.