Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Ease of doing business: Amended tax order inimical to telecom, imposes 38 levies – ALTON

The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has expressed concerned over the difficulties in doing business in the sector imposed by the Amended Taxes & Levies Order, 2015, reports ITRealms.

The order, ITRealms gathered imposed not less than 38 taxes and levies on telecom sector, which ALTON described as institutionalizing the multiplicity of taxes across different tiers of government.

Lamenting these difficulties to ITRealms, the ALTON chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, said the Amended Order failed to fix the taxable rate resulting in the imposition of arbitrary levies and charges at the State Government levels.

“The industry is also burdened with enactment of laws at the State Government levels to legitimate spurious levies and charges on our members which negates the ease of doing business in Nigeria,” he told ITRealms.

Particularly, ALTON noted that item 3 (b) of the Amended Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act introduced new levies and taxes under items 12 – 25. Most of these taxes and levies were hitherto contested by our members on the grounds that they were not applicable to telecommunications operations justified by the previous Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act 1998.

For ALTON, “It is disturbing that the entire instrument has given the State Governments authorization to coerce and disrupt the operations of our members in order to compel the payment of sundry levies, charges and taxes.  Rather than Amended Order addressing the issue of multiple taxation; it on the contrary increased the tax burden of our members and adversely impacted the ease of doing businesses in Nigeria.”

Further, ALTON pleaded for the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, to review the Amended Taxes and Levies Order 2015, which has been adjudged to be inimical to the normal operations of telecommunication operations, stressing that telecommunications infrastructure deserved a presidential executive order at this time of the nation’s growth. 

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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