MSMEs to get 2013 – 2016 tax amnesty


The clamour for tax amnesty by operators in the Medium Small and Micro
Enterprises (MSMEs) sector of the economy seems to have yielded
favourable result as their request has been granted.
The window for the
amnesty application, which closed November 24, 2016, has also been
extended to December 31, 2016.
The cheery information was given recently by the Chairman of the Federal
Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Dr. Babatunde Fowler, at the
Deloitte/NASME Public Private Dialogue (PPD) on Taxation for MSMEs held
in Lagos.
Fowler, who noted that the Federal Government gives priority of place to
small scale businesses owing to its belief in their importance to
economic growth and development, said the waiver for interest and
penalty between 2013 and 2016 sought by MSMEs would be granted if they
apply for it through the proper channel. He also stated that qualifying
for the waiver would depend on the operator’s ability to pay 25 per cent
of outstanding taxes.
He informed the MSME operator that government was “working on reducing
the tax rate and I believe that before the end of the year you will be
advised on the new tax rate, which will be effective from 2017, which
will help your business.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who was
represented by Hajia Larai Shuaibu, stated that government was conscious
of the role of the private sector in driving the process of job
creation, adding that it is out to encourage the sector by ensuring, “a
reduction in tax rates for smaller businesses.”
Adeosun said, “the qualification for the lower income tax rate
applicable to small business should be reviewed in line with economic
realities. The income tax rate for small businesses should be further
reduces as an incentive to encourage compliance and promote MSMEs.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the President/Chairman of Council of the
National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Degun
Agboade, said the importance of MSMEs in sustainable economic growth in
developing economies cannot be overemphasised considering the level of
attention the sector is attracting globally.
Agboade, who commended Deloitte and other partner organisations for
their support, therefore noted “the need for a conducive operating
environment for MSMEs, “urging that the current stagnation confronting
the sector owing to multiple taxation, levies, fees, permits,” among
others, “should not be overlooked.”
He explained that the PPD was aimed at generating solutions that would
aid government in developing a healthy tax regime that meets its
objectives of generating revenue as well as “enabling economic growth
through MSME success.”

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(Source: Sun)

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