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Traders, Artisans, Others to Pay VAT as FIRS Moves to Deepen Taxing of Informal Sector


July 04, (THEWILL) – The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced its plan to collect and remit Value Added Tax (VAT) from traders, especially those in the informal sector.

This will be achieved in partnership with the Market Traders Association of Nigeria using a unified systems technology, the FIRS said in a statement on Monday.

According to Muhammad Nami, the FIRS chairman, a combined monitoring and evaluation team, comprising FIRS officers and MATAN members will be formed immediately. This, he said, will enable an adequate cover of all the essential areas of project operations, and ensure transparency and accountability.

“This team will also be saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that VAT remittance is promptly done under the agreed platform,” he said.

MATAN is the umbrella body for all trading associations in Nigeria and was founded in 1995. According to the statement, MATAN is the largest player in Nigeria’s market space with a membership of well over 40 million traders across the country.

The FIRS’s said its collaboration with MATAN will be known as the VAT Direct Initiative.

The initiative allows MATAN to promote awareness of VAT collection and remittance in the marketplace and informal sector, while also simplifying VAT payment and remittance using a purpose-built digital platform.

MATAN has a digital platform that enumerates its members, gives them a digital ID, and tracks their turnover so that VAT accrued is collected and remitted to the FIRS.

The VAT Direct Initiative (VDI) is the first of its kind program that will utilise technology to foster collaboration between FIRS and the marketplace for the collection and remittance of VAT, the agency said.

Through this initiative, the FIRS will help tackle multiple taxations in the marketplace through a partnership with security agencies to curb the activities of touts, miscreants, and self-imposed tax collectors involved in illegal tax collection in Nigeria’s market spaces.

The VAT Direct Initiative (VDI) will boost VAT revenue generation for the three tiers of government, which in turn means more money to fund infrastructure, provide social amenities, and cater for the welfare of citizens.

MATAN members will each receive an Identity Card upon enumeration and this card contains their Tax Identification Number (TIN) and other personal details for tax purposes.

The VAT Direct Initiative (VDI) will have a monitoring and evaluation team comprising FIRS officers and MATAN members to ensure transparency, accountability, prompt VAT remittance, sustained commitment, and reporting which are vital to build public confidence in the initiative.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is the agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria responsible for assessing, collecting, and accounting for tax and other revenues accruable to the Federal Government and the Federation.

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