Enforcement of New Vehicle Number Plates to Commence January 1

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By Ndubuisi Francis

The Joint Tax Board (JTB) has announced that the enforcement of the new vehicle number plates commences from January 1, 2020 upon the expiration of the one-year grace period granted for the replacement of old vehicle number plates.

The JTB gave the indication in a communique issued after its 14th meeting in Abuja with the theme: ‘Stakeholders collaboration in expanding the tax base, leveraging on existing database.’

The communiqué was signed by both Mr. Tunde Fowler and Mr. Oseni Elamah, Chairmam and Secretary of the Board, respectively.

JTB urged revenue authorities in the country to pursue collaboration and constructive partnership with relevant agencies in a bid to grow the national taxpayer base as well as consider the need to continually collaborate and engage with relevant stakeholders to achieve the expansion of the tax data base, according to the Board.

The Board resolved that states should make every effort to implement the Class ‘A’ Driver’s Licence and ensure that all motor vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles are duly registered.

Acccording to the communiqué, ” states should ensure that data derived from the registration of motor vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles are regularly uploaded on to the National Vehicle Identification Scheme (NVIS) platform.”

The JTB reiterated the position that “the enforcement of the new vehicle number plates shall commence with effect from 1st January 2020 upon the expiration of the one-year period of grace granted for the replacement of old vehicle number plates.”

In line with the provisions of the Personal Income Tax Act (as amended), the Board mandated the state revenue authorities, under the aegis of the State Joint Revenue Committee, to engage with the relevant authorities of local government councils and all relevant stakeholders to elicit the buy-in on the implementation of the unified sticker/emblem and ultimate eradication of all forms of unauthorised sale of stickers/emblem nationwide.

It was also resolved that revenue authorities at the national and sub-national levels should continue to consolidate on existing initiatives as well as design and implement new ones that will ensure consistent and sustainable revenue growth.

The federal government’s new tax drive and revenue generation initiatives stem from the fact that the current fiscal climate and revenue performance leave huge gap, particularly looking at it from the point of view of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). The situation is not helped either by the very fluctuating figures of current contributions of oil to the gross domestic product (GDP).

According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, “Nigeria has the lowest Value Added Tax (VAT) among her peers. In addition to having one of the lowest VAT rates, experts are united in their views that Nigeria has one of the lowest tax-to GDP ratios (about seven per cent), an uncomplicated indication of the systemic inefficiency and failure to adequately mine the tax-generating capacity of the economy.

“It is against this background that the proposed new tax direction, especially the increase in the rate of VAT for luxury items, becomes imperative.”

Considering that revenue growth is a strategic priority for the Ministry of Finance, Ahmed believes the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) is a key aspect of government strategy to improve mon-oil revenue through fiscal buffers, and ultimately improve the revenue+to-debt service ratio and to improve the ratio of mon-oil revenue to non-oil GDP.