House of Reps Chamber

Finance bill: NASS passes VAT increment proposal, others for 2nd reading

NEWS DIGEST–The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, the Finance Act (Amendment) Bill, a component of which seeks to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent.

The bill, which has seven components, seeks to amend the Companies Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, Customs and Excise Tariff (Consolidation) Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Capital Gains Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act and Petroleum Profit Tax Act.

According to the short title of the legislation, the amendments seek to provide for the review of tax provisions and make them more responsive to tax reform.

In an exclusive report by The PUNCH earlier on Tuesday, several members of the House had criticised the plan by the Federal Government to raise the VAT.

According to the lawmakers, in separate interviews, higher VAT will create more hardships for the masses.

The lawmakers, who are members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, asked that the rich be taxed more through the luxury items they consume.

However, at the second hearing on Wednesday, most of the PDP lawmakers who spoke backed the bill.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, after laying the 2020 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly, sent the executive bill to both the Senate and the House to approve the increment through the amendment.

The bill had narrowly passed second reading at the Senate, with several senators vowing to mobilise stakeholders against it during public hearings.