2013 Tax environment in retrospect

The year 2013 has now taken its rightful place in the archive of history. In the area of taxation, 2013 was a year of mixed events from tax policy and legislation to tax administration, advocacy and tax adjudication both locally and internationally, some of which were positive and some not so good depending on who you are and where you stand. No matter your perspective, it is no doubt a year toremember. This article outlines some of the major events in case you have missed out on any of them.

Tax Policy

As part of the 2013 Budget Speech, the federal government announced a new import duty regime with higher import duty rates for sugar and rice, and lower rates for aircrafts and mining equipment. The higher rate for sugar and rice led to higher prices for these commodities. The government introduced the use of Tax Identification Number (TIN) for clearance of goods at the ports and for selected banking transactions. Also, government announced a policy to stop stamp duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) on transactions in the capital market. There was an attempt during the year by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency to introduce a luxury tax for the use of private jets. This was however aborted by the Senate on the basis that due process was not followed.

The 2011 amendment to the Personal income Tax Act imposed tax on the president, governors, and theirdeputies but none of these political office holders seemed to have complied. One will probably be right to conclude that tax laws in Nigeria are made by the "rich" for the "poor" to pay which is contrary to the letters and spirit of the National Perhaps the biggest failure of 2013 as far as tax policy is concerned is that no aspect of the National Tax Policy was implemented during the year.