7.5% VAT rate Has Taken Off, says AGF

7.5% VAT rate Has Taken Off, says AGF

The implementation of the newly introduced 7.5 percent hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) and related tax adjustments in the 2010 Finance Act has commenced, says  Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris said on Wednesday.

The implementation is sequel to Monday’s signing of the Finance Bill by  President Muhammadu Buhari.

The AGF told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday that since the bill had become a law, its implementation by his office had to start.

Idris said he saw a  payment on Wednesday in which five percent VAT   was applied, but had to return it to the person.

His words,  ”on Wednesday, I saw a payment which was done in December last year and when I checked the payment, the VAT on it was five percent and I said no it must be 7.5 percent because the five percent VAT has been overtaken by events because that is the law as at today.

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“So, I stopped it and asked them to go and recharge at 7.5 percent. You cannot implement something unless you have the instrument whether administrative or legal for it to be implemented.”

The AGF also gave reasons for the delay in the full take-off of the Open Government Treasury Transparency Portal across Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs).

Idris, however, explained that information was being uploaded daily on the portal even after his office closed all government accounts last month.

Other reasons for the delay, he explained, are the training of MDAs account officers to understand how to upload information on the portal; public sensitization and processing of data from MDAs.

The Federal Government last year December launched financial transparency policy and open treasury portal. The portal is designed to open government financial activities to public scrutiny in terms of revenue and expenditure of MDAs.

With the portal, the AGF is mandated to publish daily, treasury statements which will provide information about what came into the national purse and what went out every single day.

Giving updates on compliance with the new finance rule for MDAs operations, Ahmed said:  ”We are now training personnel that will upload information into the portal because it’s very important to train them.

“We have to suspend that to focus on the closure of account as required by law in December. Our staff is back and we will concentrate on the financial portal.”

“All policies of government bordering on transparency, openness in  government finances – Treasury Single Account (TSA), IPPIS, GIFMIS, and the recently unveiled  financial transparency policy and  treasury portal emanated  from here, OAGF.”

He explained that those policies were necessary for the government to secure the confidence of the public.

The minister said: “You can’t be open if you are not transparent both in expenditure and revenue and make them open and accessible to the public. The public has a responsibility to be informed especially where public funds are involved.

“Fighting corruption isn’t just for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to arrest people and take them to court.  We have to start the preparation by preventing  corruption from  happening  by making jailing the last option.”

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