VAT Not a Burden On Needy - Fowler
Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Dr Babatunde Fowler says he disagrees with the notion that Value Added Tax(VAT) is a burden of the needy.
Fowler made the assertion on the sidelines of the 2020 budget breakdown in Abuja saying VAT is becoming the most important tax type in the world.
“VAT is the fastest-growing tax type in the world; even in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), they have introduced VAT to ensure that government has sustainable revenue.
“85% of that VAT goes to the states when you look at Nigeria, we have not considered revenues for the states.
“And any time that the government spends money, be it Federal Government or State Government, they create employment, they give out contracts for roads and for school, and that has a multiplying effect to reduce unemployment and also help the country move forward.
“ A lot of people say that it is a burden of the needy, but I will like to disagree with this because it has actually given the state more revenue to help the needy”.
The FIRS boss further listed goods that are exempt from VAT as follows; all medical and pharmaceutical products, basic food items, books and educational materials, baby products, fertilizer, locally produced agricultural and veterinary medicine to mention a few.
Fowler also noted that VAT is a tax of choice and especially those who have disposable income incur VAT.
"VAT is also a tax where you have a choice, it is a consumption tax.
"if you decide to have your residence in a hotel or your meal in a restaurant, then you pay VAT, it is basically is a tax of choice, and it is those who have that disposable income that will incur VAT’’.
Fowler pointed out that the issue of revenue generation required all stakeholders to be involved, and called on individuals to boycott organisations that take money and do not pay taxes.
According to Fowler `` if you know a company is not paying tax and is making money from you because when you patronise that company you are making them profit, then you should boycott it.
"I believe it is a crime against society if that organisation is operating within this economy, within this society, taking your money and not paying taxes’’, he said. (NAN)