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The new finance bill has generated lots of controversies at different fora and among operators in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as many do not understand the benefit and how it affects their businesses.

This is one of the reasons Meristem Group made it one of the key issues discussed at its private breakfast session.

The organisation laid emphasis on understanding tax regime in Nigeria. Partner and West Africa Tax Leader, Deloitte, Yomi Olugbenro, explained that it is important for all operators in the SME sector to understand the benefits of the finance bill and how it affects their businesses.

Here is what SMEs must understand about finance bill 
Wole Abegunde

He said, “Prior to the amendment of the finance bill, all entities and companies in Nigeria have been mandated to pay company income tax on their income, but with the new amendment of the bill, micro and small enterprises are no longer automatically required to pay company income tax, where small businesses in this regard are classified as companies with an annual turnover of N25 million or less.”  

He further added that, “While the VAT rate may have been increased, government is also encouraging MSMEs and SMEs to float their business through legal entities and in exchange their businesses can benefit from incentives.” 

[READ MORE: Finance Bill to use banks as agents to tax Nigerians]

Other issues discussed are importance of planning a comfortable retirement and wills & trust.

Group Managing Director, Meristem, Wole Abegunde, who spoke at the private breakfast session hosted by the company in Lagos, explained that several Nigerians need to be enlightened on how to make informed decisions about the management of their wealth and its preservation over the long term.

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What it means: Abegunde said that the key to a comfortable retirement lies in the time allotted to putting resources aside, so if you start early, retirement is a lot easier.

He said, “The active retirement which involves the desire to remain active and engaged – travel, take vacations, get involved in community and social causes. While there is also passive retirement, which includes spending time with family, nursing health issues and generally winding down. These retirement phases are not inevitable and should be characterized by financial stability which must be accumulated early in one’s career.” 

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Managing Director, Meristem Trustees, Mercy Aminah, tasked Nigerians to seek professional advice on the sensitive issues of Wills and Trusts while planning their Estate.

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According to her, Proper planning will ensure that the right tools are deployed, having considered unique individual and family circumstances.

About Meristem

The Meristem Wealth Management Private Breakfast Session is a quarterly gathering of professionals, industry leaders and entrepreneurs hosted by Meristem; to discuss various topical issues in the financial space, in a bid to demystify all myths and help individuals make better informed financial and investment decisions.

Meristem Wealth Management is a subsidiary of Meristem Group, the company offers stockbroking, wealth management, financial advisory, trust and probate management services. The company has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space for the past 16 years. The firm has remained a leading player in Nigeria’s competitive investment market with a solid reputation as a highly professional and client-centric firm.

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