The VAT Direct Initiative has been introduced by the Nigerian Government in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service. The main objective of this program is to facilitate the collection of Value Added Taxes from the informal sector and minimize the occurrence of multiple taxations within the informal economy.
In an official statement released on Monday, the FIRS announced its intention to work together with the Market Traders Association of Nigeria. The partnership aims to effectively gather and transmit VAT payments from association members, particularly those operating in the informal sector. To achieve this, a unified systems technology will be implemented.
The statement partly read, “A collaboration between FIRS and MATAN where MATAN promotes awareness on VAT collection and remittance in the marketplace and informal sector, while also simplifying VAT payment and remittance for the marketplace and informal sector using a purpose-built digital platform.”
As per the FIRS, the initiative will address the issue of multiple taxations in the marketplace by forming alliances with security agencies to combat the activities of intermediaries and unauthorized tax collectors.
“This will also boost VAR revenue generation for the three tiers of government, which in turn means more money to fund infrastructure and social amenities,” the statement added.
Upon enumeration, each member of MATAN will be issued an ID card that includes their Tax Identification Number and other relevant personal information.
This development occurs amidst a time when Nigerians are facing the challenges of fuel subsidy removal and foreign exchange reforms, resulting in considerable discontent.
There are signs that certain informal sector associations might express their opposition to the newly imposed tax by the FIRS.