TAX LAWS IN LAGOS STATE; PROMISING A BETTER LIFE FOR ALL IN NIGERIA
TAX LAWS IN LAGOS; PROMISING A BETTER LIFE FOR ALL
Tax is a compulsory levy imposed on all citizens by the government that must be adhered to by all. Taxation as a source of revenue for the government that long been neglected by the Nigerian government at all levels is now wearing a new look.
The Lagos state government is now taking it serious that every taxable person in LagosNigeria pays his or her tax as and when due. This means that taxation in Lagos is gradually becoming what it ought to be not only in Lagos but in Nigeria as a whole.
This is evidenced by the fact that traders and market women are now required to pay a flat tax rate. The traders at Agboju Market are for instance asked to pay a flat rate of N2,400 as at the time of this writing.
Another promising move made by the Lagos state government to ensure that the potentials in taxes are fully harnessed is the education being given to trader not to include VAT (value added tax) to the over all price of commodity. As a trader in Lagos state, it is no longer acceptable for you to simply write VAT inclusive on the face of the receipt. You will in fact be asked to pay double the VAT or go to jail or receive the combined punishment.
Again, the old tenement rate that used to end up in the private pockets of some officials at the Local Government Council has been revoked and replaced with a central levy called Land Use Charge. This Land Use Charge was introduced in the land use Act of 2000 in Lagos. This is a better system that ensures that levies that are meant to go to government purse actually did get to her. Every property in Lagos is given a PIN and billed according to the prevailing value of the property. I personally prefer this system of levy collection to the old unreliable tenement and other numerous rates.
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One thing you should note is the fact that some local government officials still go about collecting money from unsuspecting land owners in Lagos. They will come threatening you to comply or have your property locked up. If you have rightly paid your land use charge, all you will have to do is ignore them. If the persist, report the said local government to the Lagos state secretariat at Alausa, in Ikeja Lagos Nigeria for proper disciplinary action. This had happened to me once. So be informed that you are not expected to pay tenement rate after paying the land use charge. Read that manually / form that was given to you during the registration phase of the property. If not for privacy purpose, I would have provided to number to call here but, take a close look at the rare side of that same form and call the phone number there.
One rate which I would really want the Lagos state government to remove with immediate effect is the ‘road use tax’. Yes, you heard me well, road use tax. Or what will you call the extortion that is taking place on the roads of Lagos state. Take mile2 Okoko route as an example. Commuters on this route pay as high as N2,000 (two thousand naira) on each trip. I know that one may be asking at this point if those guys are actually sent by the government. To answer this, yes they are sent by the government officials. This is evidenced by the fact that they have registered union and have uniform. In fact, a reliable source told me that they render account to the government on a daily basis.
The unexpected flow of revenue from oil had blinded all Nigerians for so long but, thank God for recent awareness being created in Nigeria about the importance of taxation to the development of any economy. I pray that very soon, the wave that is touching taxation in Nigeria especially Lagos will translate into other sub sectors of the Nigerian economy like agriculture and the real sector at large.
BUY LAGOS TAX LAW BOOK
HOW TO APPLY TO THE FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE (FIR)
Federal Inland Revenue is the government agent that is responsible for tax collection. All you need to do is walk into any of the FIR offices and fill out a personal assessment form if you an individual or fill out the corporate tax form if a company. This process is even made easier now that the Lagos state government has introduced an electronic tax system. this means that you should get your PIN, file your annual returns online and pay you tax even without visiting the FIR’s office.