Federal government has said that it has no plan to introduce new taxes or increase current taxes in 2021.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, disclosed this at a public hearing organised by the house of representatives committee on finance in Abuja.
The minister said rather than increase taxes, it is making efforts to reduce tax burden on Nigerians due to the current economic crises caused by COVID-19 pandemic and fall in prices of crude oil.
“What we don’t have in the finance bill 2020 is an increase in tax. There are no new taxes that are being introduced and there is no increase in taxes,” she said.
“The bill also make provisions to create a legal framework for the creation of a crisis intervention fund that will address crisis that may arise in future, while introducing provisions that allow for the recovery of donations made towards the COVID-19 pandemic and other potential crises.”
Ahmed said the bill would make comprehensive reforms to tax laws in Nigeria by introducing significant economic presence rules for taxation of non-resident companies, tax incentives for infrastructure and capital market; support small businesses through tax exemption; and reduce value added tax (VAT) compliance burden for small companies.
“We also need to defer tax rate increases to the domestic economic sufficiently recover and reduce the compliance burden on tax payers in line with the ease of doing business reforms.”
Ahmed also said the federal government will introduce legislative backing for banks to charge stamp duties on electronic receipts.
Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, in his remarks, said the finance bill 2020 is aimed at supporting the implementation of 2021 budget by proposing key reforms to specific taxation, customs, excise, fiscal and other laws.
Gbajabiamila further said the bill will meet government obligations and implement policies to build infrastructure, address insecurity, grow the economy, and provide job opportunities.