The Federal Government has started the enforcement of the 7.5 per cent increase of Value Added Tax (VAT) in accordance with the recently signed Finance Bill 2019.
This was disclosed by the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris in a chat with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.
Acccording to Idris, the Bill has become law with its signing by President Muhammadu Buhari, making it a duty for his office to obey the law.
The Accountant-General further disclosed that he had to stop some payment on Tuesday because the transaction was based on the old 5 percent VAT, adding that payment for transactions that occurred last year would not be made until the 7.5 percent VAT is factored into them.
On whether it was proper to impose the new VAT rate on transactions that took place before the Bill was signed into law, Idris said VAT is deducted at the point of payment rather than the point of purchase.
He said: “You cannot implement a budget unless the National Assembly passes it and Mr President signs it. So, the decision to increase VAT was debated and members of the public were sensitised and nobody can start deducting that VAT unless the bill is signed.
“Just yesterday (Tuesday), I saw a payment which was done last year in December and when I checked the payment, the VAT on it was five per cent and I said no it must be 7.5 percent because the five per cent VAT has been overtaken by events because that is the law as at today.
“So I stopped it and asked them to go and recharge at 7.5 per cent. You cannot implement something unless you have the instrument whether administrative or legal for it to be implemented.”