By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved the Finance Bill 2020 designed to engender incremental changes in the nation’s tax laws and support the 2021 fiscal year.
The council approved the bill at its weekly meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential villa, Abuja.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed said that the Finance Bill which is an Executive Bill, will be transmitted to the National Assembly for its consideration and passage into law.
She said that the bill has made some reductions for some categories of enterprises and mass transit vehicles, adding that the slowdown in economic activities has necessitated the cut in taxes so as to not over burden small enterprises.
The Minister assured that the passage of the bill into law will not lead to increase in taxes in the country.
According to her, “In the last Finance Bill 2019, we reduced taxes from 30 percent to 20 percent for enterprises that have turnover of between N25 to N100 million.
“We also moved taxes from 30 percent to zero percent for enterprises that have turnover of twenty five million Naira and bellow which means they pay no taxes.
“What we are doing in the Finance Bill 2020 is to further renew the Education tax of two percent for that lower category of enterprises that have turnover of twenty five million Naira and bellow.
“So, when we say incremental it means gradually making changes, it means the changes may be up or down but for now with the economic slowdown, our assessment is that this is the time to cut down on taxes to not increase taxes at all and to not increase levies. This is the time that we need to do that and that is what we are trying to do.
“Another example is the reduction in the duties for vehicles that will be related to the mass transit. Again, no increase in taxes and no increase in VAT.”