I got new glasses today. I was always having this terrible headache, almost like a migraine and so I decided to visit the eye clinic.
It turned out that my former lenses were now stale (been using them for almost four years) and my power had increased from -1.75 to -2.0. Wasn’t a good news because it meant my eyes weren’t getting any better and I would need to BUY new lenses for my frames or better still get new glasses completely. In this HARD ECONOMY, I brought out #4,000 and gave the doctor. Jehova bu eze!!!
Recession is the new word in Nigeria. Buharinomics too. Financially, we are all going down the drain. The price of everything has TRIPLED! And most of us manage to eat two times daily. Indomie now sells for #55. Can you imagine? Things we used to take for granted are now held dear because every single change is important.
Oil that was our own gold is no more and every one is talking about diversification of the economy. Let’s see how that works.
I’m almost a law graduate. I happen to be a little bit interested in taxation and revenue. Now, a tax can be defined as a burden which every citizen must bear to sustain his or her government.
While a lot of Nigerians manage to evade and avoid paying taxes some still pay; especially those under the PAYE system – because there is a deduction at the source.
Like I said earlier, oil is no more. Our economy is going down the drain. But Instead of the government to think of creative ways to help the citizens, whom they actually SERVE, they have decided to punish us with the new COMMUNICATION SERVICE TAX.
I wonder if this is part of the Economy Diversification Plan.
Let me tell you all about the CST BILL, 2015.
The Bill, when passed into law, will establish a tax on users of electronic communication services in Nigeria. (YOU AND I)
What is really painful and fundamental is that this Bill if successful will become an additional tax burden on
individuals and businesses who make use of electronic communication services, especially in these difficult economic times. THIS RECESSION PERIOD WHERE I CAN’T EVEN BUY INDOMIE AND BLUE BAND ANYMORE!!!!
This tax is simply unnecessary and will only give rise to series of untold hardships.
The Bill seeks to impose CST at the rate of 9% on the fees paid by users of electronic communication services (ECS), other than private users. Not even 5%, 9 good PERCENT!!!
The tax is to be levied on ECS
defined as “a service providing electronic communication, a closed user group service, a
private electronic communication service, a
radio communication service, and a value added service ”. The Bill lists ECS to include
voice calls, short messaging and multimedia messaging services, data usage from telecommunication service providers and internet service providers, pay-per-view television stations, and so on. The tax is to be charged by the service providers in addition
to the fee for these services.
The Bill also provides that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will be responsible for
the collection of the tax, together with any applicable penalty and interest. The tax is to be remitted into the Federation Account.
All service providers are required to file a tax return to account for the tax collected and pay the tax due not later than the last working day of the month immediately after the month to which the payment relates.
timeline may be extended in certain circumstances. In the event that a service provider fails to submit CST returns by the due date, this failure would attract a penalty of N50,000 plus N10,000 for each day of default, and monthly interest at the rate of 150% of the average prevailing commercial
bank lending rate published by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Furthermore, failure to pay
the interest due on default within one month, would attract additional interest on the unpaid interest. The Bill further provides that relevant sections in the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act
with respect to records, offences and penalties will apply to the management of the CST. In
addition, the procedure for objections and appeals for CST will be similar to that contained in the VAT Act.
Meaning we shall be charged extra for every text message, subscription, call etc. This is simply unfair!
No one is actually talking about this. Most people know nothing about this Bill.
How can the government do this to us? We are not only talking about untold hardship, we are also talking DOUBLE TAXATION! Minimum wage hasn’t been increased. People are struggling to survive. Gala is now #60 and Indomie Hungry man Size #150.
They are better ways to generate revenue for our nation;
1) Bring back our textile industry for starters.
2) Stop the sale of national assets and establishments. Most of these developing countries are doing so well because the GOVERNMENT THRIVES!!!
3) Encourage large scale agriculture.
Etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc
There’s so more…..
But TAXING US FOR THE USE OF TELEPHONES ISN’T ONE OF THEM!!!
STOP THE BILL!!!
I was going to say love and sunshine as usual. But there’s no love and there’s nothing sunny about a country in recession. A country where the Finance Minister, who probably won’t feel the brunt of this burden, stands up and says something about how RECESSION IS JUST A WORD!!