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Tinubu Halts Buhari’s Taxes Implementation

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CEM REPORT, FINANCE | President Bola Tinubu has signed four Executive Orders which postpone the implementation of several taxes introduced by the previous administration.

The Finance Act (Effective Date Variation) Order, 2023 pushes forward the commencement date from May 28, 2023, to September 1, 2023.

The order halts the enforcement of taxes on telecommunication services and alcoholic beverages and suspends the green tax, including the single-use plastics tax and the import adjustment levy on certain categories of vehicles.

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According to Dele Alake, special adviser to the President on special duties, communication and strategy, while briefing State House journalists, yesterday stated that the move is to ensure adherence to the 90 days minimum advance notice for tax changes as contained in the 2017 National Tax Policy.

One of the recently signed Executive Orders suspends the 5 per cent excise tax on telecommunication services.

The Customs, Excise Tariff (Variation) Amendment Order, 2023 as signed postpones the implementation date of the tax changes from March 27, 2023, to August 1, 2023.

The President also signed the suspension of the newly introduced Green Tax by way of excise tax on single-use plastics, including plastic containers and bottles, as well as the import tax adjustment levy on certain vehicles as well as the excise duties escalation on locally manufactured products.

According to Alake, the previous administration’s intention to upward review taxes was to raise revenue as well as address environmental and health issues of concern.

However, he stated that they have created considerable issues, as well as serious complaints among key stakeholders and the business community.

“The excise tax of 5 per cent on telecommunication services has generated heated controversy. There is also a lack of clarity regarding the status of this tax, just as players in the sector also complain about the imposition of multiple taxes on their operations.

“We have also seen that the Green Taxes, including the Single Use Plastics tax and the Import Adjustment Levy on certain categories of vehicles, require more consultation and a holistic approach to the country’s net zero plan in a manner that does not impact the economy negatively.”

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He continued that the present administration would continue to give requisite stimulus by way of friendly policies to allow businesses to flourish in the country.

“Upon taking over the reins of government, the President promised to run a government that will not make life difficult for Nigerians or asphyxiate corporate entities despite the challenges The Federal Government is irrevocably committed to this pledge”

“Tinubu Administration has since noticed that some of the tax policies are being implemented retroactively with their commencement dates, in some instances, pre-dating the official publication of the relevant legal instruments backing the policies. This lacuna has created some challenges of implementation.”

“President Bola Tinubu wishes to assure Nigerians by whose mandate he is in power that there will not be further tax raise without robust and wide consultations undertaken within the context of a coherent fiscal policy framework,” he added.

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