2019 Finance Bill: Small Businesses Won't Pay Tax - Expert
By Olamide Fadoju
Nigerian businesses that make less than 70 thousand naira in sales a day are not required to pay tax.
Tax expert, Taiwo Oyedele disclosed this while speaking on the provisions of the 2019 Nigeria Finance Bill in a chat with Wemimo Adewuni and Sheriff Quadri on Nigeria Info FM programme, Morning Crossfire.
The Finance Bill, 2019 (the Bill) was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the 2020 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on 8 October 2019 has been passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Mr Oyedele who is also a member of the implementation committee for the Nigeria Finance Bill said the finance bill was made with consideration for poor Nigerians.
"If you run a small business and your annual turnover is about 25 million or less, you don’t even need to register for VAT, you don’t need to charge VAT on your goods and services that you provide to your customers.
" The government is saying because you are small, most likely, the people you are dealing with will also be low-income earners.
"So we don’t need you to register for VAT. Just do your business. I know Maths is not the best thing people understand. So 25 million comes to about 70 thousand sales a day. If your sales is under that just go on do your business and you don’t have to worry about VAT.
Mr. Oyedele also spoke on the seven-point five per cent new VAT rate saying it will majorly affect only the rich people because basic commodities are not included in the tax review.
“The vast majority of Nigerians are poor. They can’t even pay the five per cent we have currently. So the idea and thinking behind the finance bill is to exclude the poor people from paying the VAT.
"So the exemption list for what we call basic food items including fish, meat, roots, oil, milk and the rest of them are exempted now. The list has been expanded including tuition, medical so virtually everything that a poor person will consume has been exempted.
“The rest of the society, the middle class, the upper class who can afford a little bit more should then be made to pay seven point five per cent.”