By Jimoh Babatunde
The President of Association of Fast Food confectioners of Nigeria, Mrs. Kehinde Kamson, has urged Lagos State government to create a level playing ground for all levels of business in the hospitality industry.
Speaking at the unveiling of an automated invoicing system and technology device, Electronic Revenue Assurance system (ERA), at a stakeholders’ meeting held with hotel and business owners in the hospitality and Tourism sector recently, she said the introduction of 5% consumption tax in addition to the Value Added Tax will further move them away from their customers.
Kamson noted that the ‘Mama Puts’ that constitute the informal sector of the economy do not pay taxes and they make more money than the organised restaurants owners.
While noting that most of their members have closed shops due to high over head costs, she said “We will support Lagos state government on compliance and 100% remittance. However, the government through its agency, LIRS should create a level playing ground for all levels of business in the hospitality industry by initiating this device across the board especially the informal sector or unstructured businesses.
The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade stated that “The hotel occupancy and restaurant consumption tax law is not a new law but an existing law.
He said the automated invoicing system and technology device, Electronic Revenue Assurance system, ERA, is to ensure efficiency and compliance of remittance of consumption tax from the owners of hotels, restaurants, nightclub and event centres in the state.
Ashade assured that the protection of consumers and collecting agents’ details are confidential and will be used only for tax purposes.
On his part, the Chairman of LIRS, Mr. Ayodele Subair, said the hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, fast food outlets, bars, event centers among others, serve as agents of the government for the purpose of remittance of 5 per cent consumption tax collected from customers through the LIRS new technology, Electronic Revenue Assurance System, ERA.
The chairman also stated that the commencement of the new system takes effect immediately as LIRS officers will be visiting hospitality places to install the software and train their staff on the use of the new device.
The Electronic Revenue Assurance System is a software application/device that issues invoices and receipts to consumers bearing a unique QR code. The receipt will also contain detailing of the items and/or services ordered and an embedded automation of Consumption Tax remittance in real time.
He said there are incentive for consumption taxpayers as the LIRS is determined to give back to loyal consumption taxpayers who request for their receipts generated from the ERA System for an opportunity to participate in a draw and win attractive prizes.
The LIRS urges consumers and customers of hospitality places in Lagos State to always demand for the ERA system receipts in the overall interest and benefit of all.
The President of Lagos Hoteliers Association, Mr. Adekunle Akilo, noted that sensitisation and training process for effective utilisation of the device should be continuous to help business owners and consumers in the hospitality industry fully embrace the technology.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, has shut down 20 hotels, restaurants and event centres because of their failure to remit taxes.
The Director of Legal Services of the LIRS, Mr. Seyi Alade, made the disclosure on the sidelines of a tax law enforcement exercise, conducted in Lagos during the week.
Alade said the affected firms owed the state government a total of N295.49 million, adding that the state had started full enforcement of all aspects of tax laws on tax defaulters.
He named some of the shut facilities as Bienvenue Suite Ltd., Ajaxbel Hotel, Mayor Hotel, Lafun Suites, Darahamson Guest Palace, Mozarella Hotels, among others.
According to him, sealing of hotels and other facilities will be eradicated, due to the coming into operation of the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption (Fiscalisation) Regulation, 2017.
He said the new regulations had made it mandatory for all hotels, restaurants, event centres and other entities liable to consumption taxes, to allow integration of the ERAS.