Carpenters, taxi drivers should be forced to pay taxes – they make a lot of money

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Fakeye Olufemi, a member of the House of Representatives, says owners of small and medium-sized businesses, including carpenters and taxi drivers, should be forced to pay taxes.

Olufemi, member of the Congress of All Progressives (APC), representing Boluwaduro/Ifedayo/Ila Federal Constituency of Osun State, spoke from the house floor on Wednesday.

The Finance Act 2020 exempts small businesses whose annual turnover does not exceed N25 million from paying corporation tax (CIT).

Olufemi, who was contributing to the debate on the 2022 budget during the plenary session, said this will allow the federal government to strengthen its income generation.

“Why do I salute the honorable speaker and my colleagues here sitting and even the senate for complying with the executive’s request to reset the button to a January to December cycle for budgeting; I think it’s fair to expect that if we do that — which we did — there should be budget implementation at the right time. I know it’s easy to talk about, it’s harder to implement,” he said.

“I like to say to the executive; if you are going to borrow to implement the project for a year – they should borrow in January, February and March and not borrow or try to arrange the borrowing in the third or fourth quarter of the year for which you want to implement.

“I am aware at the moment and it has been said here that only two quarterly releases have been made now – we are in the last quarter of the year. the budget is adopted on time.

“And I pay attention to the revenue shortfall for the government and I start to wonder and I remember when I was young, everyone was paying taxes. Whether you’re a farmer, whether your father is a carpenter, whatever he do in life, he paid taxes.

“Now we’ve tended to forgive everyone their taxation except those with income where tax is taken from your income and the rest is paid to you.

“I think our tax reform should be such that every Nigerian has a chance to contribute to it. Go ahead and talk to 80-90% of Nigerians, many of whom are self-employed; they don’t pay taxes anymore

“So when we hear from the FIRS or the tax organizations, even the joint tax council widening the tax net; why are they hesitant to find a way to make people pay – whether you are a carpenter, a taxi driver, you sell rice in the market – these people make a lot of money but they don’t pay anything. So I think that’s an area I’d like to see revenue increase.

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