20, 2020 / 06:45 PM / by Muhammad Nami* / Header Image Credit: hallmarknews
Being a Keynote Address By Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service At The KPMG Webinar On Matters Arising From Implementation of Finance Act, 2019 held on 18th June, 2020
I like to commend the KPMG for taking the initiative of putting up a forum like this for experts and stakeholders to brainstorm on: Matters Arising from Implementation of Finance Act, 2019. You have also asked me to speak on Tax Administration in Challenging Times and Future Outlook.
These issues are topical, timely and instructive considering the current global economic trend. The world economy is facing serious challenges as a result of the effect of COVID-19 and avenues like this is, are therefore important to discuss how to refloat Nigeria's economy post-COVID-19.
Taxation and economy are like Siamese twins, they are almost inseparable and whatever affects one also affects the other. The Nigerian economy having been affected negatively, has made this period a challenging time for tax administration in Nigeria.
What The FIRS Is Doing
FIRS approach to tax administration in this challenging time is focused on cushioning the effect of the challenges on the economy and as well refloating the economy:
Palliatives Issued By The Service
The Finance Act 2019
The Finance Act 2019 has been adjudged to be a landmark in the history of law-making in Nigeria. Stakeholders have applauded the move by the government to use the Finance Act to amend the extant tax legislation which hitherto remained un-amended even though many of its provisions do not conform with present realities.
The Act also has been said to be a visionary masterpiece as it seems to have foreseen the effect of the pandemic in 2020 and to have clairvoyantly provided palliatives, especially to small scale businesses through exemption from taxes.
I wish to further appreciate our stakeholders, which includes KPMG, for serving on the Finance Bill Drafting Committee to produce the Finance Act 2019. We also appreciate your contributions in producing the seven (7) Information Circulars developed pursuant to the Finance Act, 2019.
Future Outlook of the Nigerian Economy
With sustained efforts of government in collaboration with critical stakeholders, the prospect of the Nigerian economy is looking bright and I believe that we will soon cross the worst stage of the effect of the pandemic.
Despite all challenges, FIRS Q1, 2020 collection was quite impressive. It is the best result from the same period ever posted by FIRS. We recorded a 15% increase from Q1, 2019 collection. The collection is a response to measures that include automation of key areas such as VAT and Stamp Duty. We are poised to do more going forward.
Once more, I thank the organizers and participants of this webinar. The Finance Act, 2019 though great, may not be a perfect legislation. Good enough, the Act will be a yearly ritual to reflect the realities of the economy. That is why the theme of this webinar is very important and critical. I enjoin all of us here to be open to discussions so that together, we can advance the interest of our dear country.
About the Author
*Muhammad Nami is the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
Download Here - Finance Act 2019 Awaiting Gazette
Download Here - Finance Act 2019 Gazetted
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