By Naomi Uzor
The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) has charged micro, small and medium enterprises under its fold to take advantage of the extended deadline of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) tax penalty and interest waiver before it closese.
In a parley with pressmen, the President of NASME, Prince Degun Agboade said the Public-Private Dialogue (PPD), recommended that the FIRS work with the NASME-led Coalition to ensure that all penalties and interest owed prior to 2016 would be forgiven as long as members apply through NASME before December 31, 2016.
He noted that the use of Management Accounts as opposed to Audited Accounts (if not available) would be accepted when filing for the penalty waiver and that the FIRS would continue to work with NASME for the growth of the MSME sector in Nigeria because the government is a listening one.
According to him, other recommendations of the PPD include that the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service would work with the NASME-led coalition, set up an automated customer care desk for enquiries, requests and complaints, and work with NASME to enlighten the public on the difference between taxes, fees and charges.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance would work with the NASME led coalition to look into the reduction of Personal Income Tax, while ensuring that the revised recommendations from the National Policy Review Committee would be passed into legislation by 2017.
“Others are that the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) would work with the NASME-led coalition to strengthen and support the MSME sector in Nigeria. The Joint Tax Board (JTB) would work with the coalition to address all issues relating to multiplicity of taxes and that members of NASME should report any suspicious or bogus charges to the Board. Also, taxes, fees and charges would be separated and that the JTB would make the list available,” he said.
According to him, the PPD noted that there is an on-going classification of MSMEs sectors based on local government area by the Lagos State government and that the local government law is currently being reviewed. “While acknowledging the need to have a business complaint desk to aid MSMEs in different LGAs, the PPD noted that there is a Community Business Assembly Pilot kicking off at Alimosho LGA to help MSMEs,” he stated.