The Nigerian Finance Bill (the "Bill") which is to take effect in January 2023 is currently undergoing the legislative review and approval process at the house of representatives. It was shared by President Buhari and presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning to the House of Representatives on Thursday, December 22, 2022.
The Bill is proposing key reforms to tax laws and other relevant laws in Nigeria.
We have highlighted in this article, some of the proposed amendments in the Bill.
Key amendments in the Bill
1. Taxation of digital assets: The Bill proposes that gains on digital assets are to be subject to tax under the Capital Gains Tax Act at the rate of 10% (ten percent).
2. Taxation of gaming and gambling companies: The Bill proposes that income derived by a company from gaming, gambling, betting, or lottery business is to be subject to tax under the Companies Income Tax Act.
3. Tax increase for gas flaring companies: In line with Nigeria's climate change commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Bill proposes that gas-flaring medium and large companies are to be liable to corporate taxation at a 50% rate. It is anticipated that this rate will help to deter gas-flaring, as it is more than the typical 30% nominal income tax rate.
4. Exclusion of losses: The Bill proposes the set-off of capital losses against capital gains on two identical capital assets (i.e. two assets that are of the same kind) in a taxable year.
5. Remittance of Value Added Tax ("VAT") by specific entities: Entities like MTN, and oil and gas companies, appointed to deduct VAT at source on invoices received from their vendors will be expected to remit such VAT to the Federal Inland Revenue Service on or before the 14th day of the following month (currently 21st day of the following month).
6. Import Levy: In addition to existing customs duties and other charges, a levy of 0.5% is to be imposed on goods imported into Nigeria from outside Africa. It is stated that this duty will be used to make payments for subscriptions, and other financial obligations to multilateral institutions like the African Union, African Development Bank e.t.c
7. Investment allowance: The existing investment allowance of 10% (ten percent) applicable on qualifying expenditure incurred on plant and equipment will no longer apply as from December 31, 2022, where the Bill is passed as an Act.
8. Rollover relief on shares and stocks: Investors need to note that they will be required to pay a tax of 10% on the gains they make from the sale of their shares in startups and other companies. The Bill, however, proposes that investors that purchase shares from startups will be eligible to roll over reliefs in the event that they reinvest the proceeds of the sale of such shares. Rollover relief provides a mechanism for deferring payment of tax from the sale of an asset, where the proceeds from such sale are reinvested to buy new assets.
9. Goods liable to excise duty: All services including but not limited to telecommunication services, provided in Nigeria will be subject to excise duties.
10. Supervisory role: The Minister of Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning is to be charged with the responsibility for the supervision of the Tariff Review Board.
As mentioned earlier, the Bill is currently undergoing review at the house of representatives, and we await the final Act. It will, however, be interesting to see how the provisions on the taxation of digital currency will be implemented particularly in the cryptocurrency space.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.