The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said the proposed amendment to the Finance Act will ensure that Amazon and other digital companies become Value Added Tax collectors for the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Ms Ahmed said the bill, which emanated from the executive arm of government, if passed by the lawmakers and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, will reduce ambiguity and restrict VAT obligations to digital non-resident companies.
The minister spoke in Abuja on Monday at the public hearing into the bill. The hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Committee Finance.
Mr Buhari had transmitted the bill to the two chambers of the National Assembly last week Tuesday.
The bill seeks to amend the Capital Gains Tax Act, Company Income Tax, FIRS Establishment Act, Personal Income Tax, Stamp Duties Act and Tertiary Education Act, Value Added Tax, Insurance Police Trust Fund and the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The bill is proposing an amendment to section 10 of the VAT, by introducing a new section 10, putting the burden of VAT on non-resident digital companies, rather than non-resident individuals.
Explaining the implication of the proposed amendment, she said “for example, what is proposed here is that Amazon can now register as VAT collection agent for the FIRS, by adding VAT to their transaction and remit to the FIRS.”
She added further that the bill seeks to “restrict VAT obligation to Digital Non-Resident Companies (who supply individuals who cannot self-account for VAT).