President Muhammadu Buhari has listed items that will not be affected by the increase of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5% to 7.5% in his 2020 budget.
In his budget speech to the National Assembly, President Buhari explained that the additional revenue from VAT will be channeled to fund health, education and infrastructure programmes.
“The draft Finance Bill proposes an increase of the VAT rate from 5% to 7.5%. As such, the 2020 Appropriation Bill is based on this new VAT rate,” he said to the National Assembly on Tuesday.
“The additional revenues will be used to fund health, education and infrastructure programmes. As the States and Local Governments are allocated 85% of all VAT revenues, we expect to see greater quality and efficiency in their spending in these areas as well.
“The VAT Act already exempts pharmaceuticals, educational items, and basic commodities, which exemptions we are expanding under the Finance Bill, 2019. Specifically, Section 46 of the Finance Bill, 2019 expands the exempt items to include the following:
a. Brown and white bread;
b. Cereals including maize, rice, wheat, millet, barley and sorghum;
c. Fish of all kinds;
d. Flour and starch meals;
e. Fruits, nuts, pulses and vegetables of various kinds;
f. Roots such as yam, cocoyam, sweet and Irish potatoes;
g. Meat and poultry products including eggs;
i. Salt and herbs of various kinds; and
j. Natural water and table water.
“Additionally, our proposals also raise the threshold for VAT registration to N25 million in turnover per annum, such that the revenue authorities can focus their compliance efforts on larger businesses thereby bringing relief for our Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses.
“It is absolutely essential to intensify our revenue generation efforts. That said, this Administration remains committed to ensuring that the inconvenience associated with any fiscal policy adjustments, is moderated, such that the poor and the vulnerable, who are most at risk, do not bear the brunt of these reforms.”