Outlaw ‘ridiculous’ taxes, expert charges NASS

Members of the National Assembly have been urged to come up with legislation that would do away with ‘ridiculous’ taxes that had constituted a huge hindrance to businesses and nation’s economic growth in the past few years.

Making the charge today, on Tuesday, at a webinar, tagged ‘Assessment of Government’s Economic Interventions and The Way Forward, organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in conjunction with PwC, the Fiscal Policy Planner and West Africa Tax Leader, PwC, Mr Taiwo Oyedele stated that a lot of businesses, in the country, presently groan under the burden of multiple taxations.

Oyedele, who is the Chairman of the COVID 19 Intervention Committee for PwC, added that it had become imperative for the nation’s lawmakers to come to the aid of such businesses by coming up with legislations that would outlaw some of those taxes, overburdening such businesses, to enable them to bounce back.

He argued that besides multiple taxations, the advent of COVID-19 had left many businesses in dire straits, noting that being over-burdened with multiple taxations would only sound the death knell of such businesses.

“Some businesses are over-taxed, especially those that decide to play by the rule. And, unfortunately, this has continued to create a fundamental problem.

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“For example, it seems as if they are being punished for doing the right thing. For every N100 they make, they are made to cough out N40 as taxes, whereas there are others, not paying a kobo on such money.

“Besides, we are having a multiplicity of taxes. We have about 60 and 200 official and non-official taxes, respectively. I think it will be in the interest of businesses in Nigeria, and the nation’s economy for the national assembly to remove all those ridiculous taxes and focus on the few ones that can really grow the economy and enhance businesses. They should remember that it is when businesses are making a profit that they will be in a position to pay tax,” he added.

He also counselled that rather than overburden businesses with taxes, the tax authorities in the country should devise a strategy to expand the tax net, to enable it to accommodate many businesses, that had not been paying taxes.

Oyedele also charged businesses not to be discouraged by the advent of the public health crisis, but should rather look for opportunities to leverage.

“This is not a time to be discouraged. This is not a time to drop your business ideas. Rather it is a time to look for opportunities to leverage, because as it is today, some businesses are still making money, despite the public health crisis,” he added.

Speaking about the webinar, the president of the Chamber, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, explained that the webinar was in tune with the Chamber’s advocacy role.

According to her, it was put together to enable experts to assess the government’s economic interventions, and design the way forward for businesses in the country, in tune with the Chamber’s advocacy role.

While commending government’s efforts at bringing businesses back on their feet, the LCCI boss, however, believed that it would take a concerted effort for many businesses, and the nation’s economy to bounce back; since government’s intervention would never be enough to solve the myriad of COVID 19-induced challenges, presently facing the nation’s economy.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Outlaw ‘ridiculous’ taxes

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