Thursday, July 29, 2021

NCC, FIRS partner for harmonisation of VAT in telcos’ transactions

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.

This is to ensure the tax agency ascertained accuracy and completeness of value added tax, VAT, elements and other taxes payable in the transactions of telecoms operators.

A statement signed by Dr Henry Nkemadu, Director, public Affairs of NCC, in Abuja, said that the MOU was in line with the commission’s inter-agency collaboration, quoting the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta.

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Mr Danbatta said that diligence and appropriate due processes were undertaken to conclude the MOU, as the Commission took its time to understand the import of the MOU.

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“Our concern, as Regulator of the telecoms industry, is that we needed to be sure that it is not another way to tax telecoms operators, who are already dealing with multiple taxation issues.

“We have also ensured that the integration of the solutions with telcos’ transactions systems will not, in any way, impact the cost and quality of service delivery by the operators to telecoms consumers.”

Mr Danbatta, therefore, assured telecoms consumers and stakeholders that the integration with the operators’ systems was entirely to ascertain the accuracy of the VAT elements being paid by the operators on their transactions.

He noted that it would not, in any way, degrade the quality of service delivery or lead to high cost of service to the consumers.

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The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, explained that the MOU was mainly to ascertain completeness of tax transactions of mobile service providers to the Federal Government.

This is due to the shift of physical businesses to electronic-based business activities.

Nami expressed delight and thanked the NCC for accepting to collaborate with the tax agency.

“With the MOU, the FIRS will be able to integrate an application programming interface (API) technology solution with the systems of telecom operators.

“This is for independent verification of the amount of VAT that should be paid by mobile network operators (MNO) rather than relying entirely on the operators’ books of accounts,” he said.

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