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Tax Reform Committee Set to Deliver Policy Blueprint to National Assembly by Q3 2024

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Afor Kenneth

The Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee has announced its plan to submit its policy recommendations to the National Assembly by the conclusion of the third quarter of 2024.

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These recommendations encompass new National Tax and Borrowing Policies scheduled for implementation in September, along with proposed constitutional amendments set to come into effect from 2025.

Under the leadership of Taiwo Oyedele, the committee disclosed the completion of its proposal phase and the commencement of consultations with the private sector throughout May. It anticipates obtaining internal approvals from the Federal Executive Council, National

Economic Council, and other governmental bodies by the end of June.

He explained, “We envisage by the Quarter Three, our documents will be ready to go to the National Assembly and by the end of that Q3.

“We should have them enacted into law so we can give reasonable notice to the public, businesses and individuals before commencement for many of them kick off in 2025. But where we have executive orders and directive regulations that don’t require enactment into law, we just need the ministers to sign.
“For instance, we have a new withholding tax regulation where small businesses will be exempt from having to deduct withholding tax. So it’s ready; we’re waiting for the final signature.”
The tax reforms chief alluded to the introduction of a new National Tax Policy alongside a Spending Policy aimed at guiding government expenditure. Additionally, a Borrowing Policy is in the works to ensure that the government fulfills its social c

 

ontract with the people in a meaningful manner.

“So, all of that will happen before the end of the year. But where we are enacting the law and proposals to amend the Constitution, that will happen in 2025 and, maybe, 2026 because I think the timeline that the National Assembly has is about two years,” he explained.

Oyedele argued that these processes are necessary to ensure that the “reforms can be enduring and sustained,” adding, “We don’t want this whole effort to go down the dra

in, after one or two years if somebody comes with a different idea and introduces new taxes. We have to fix this problem once and for all.”

Fielding questions on the foreseeable tax threshold for small businesses, he said after the deploying considering its data, the Committee has agreed that “if you earn N25m a year or less, you don’t have to pay company income tax, you don’t have to wo

rry about VAT.”

He said, “The informal sector is people who are trying to earn a legitimate living”; therefore, “we should allow them to be and support them to grow to a point where they can then have the ability to pay taxes.”

Consequently, “We think that 95 per cent of the informal sector should be legally exempted from all taxes; withholding tax, company income tax, even payee on their staff. Let them be.


“We can then focus our attention on the top 5 per cent of that sector and, of course, the middle class and the elites. We think the days of being above the law in paying taxes are over.

“This is the same thing we’re saying to our leaders, whether elected or appointed; we think they have to lead by example by showing that they have paid the taxes, not only on time but correctly to the lawful authorities as contained in the various laws.”
The Oyedele-led Committee expressed strong conviction regarding the necessity to raise the exemption threshold for small businesses and low-income earners. They emphasized that it’s unfair to impose taxes on those struggling to make ends meet.
Addressing concerns about the flaws in the contentious Cybersecurity Levy, Oyedele urged patience from Nigerians grappling with multiple tax burdens, stating that resolving these issues is an ongoing process and won’t happen overnight.

He stated, “As we progress from ideation, proposal to implementation, you’ll see less and less of those issues.”

 

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