Some Nigerians have just realised that they now have to pay value-added tax (VAT) every time they make phone calls or send a Short Message Service, SMS. They think this is strange.
Many of them have expressed shock on Twitter while sharing screenshots of the notifications they received from their telecom service providers to the effect of the new VAT charges. Twitter user – Akamadi Jeremiah Aleakhue, made a phone call that lasted for forty–six seconds and was charged N5.06 with VAT included.
7.5 VAT now applies to calls? pic.twitter.com/IsSaYOo7xL
— Akamadi Jeremiah Aleakhue (@SLIMZADDYJ) February 5, 2020
Another user said s/he was charged N4.10 after sending an SMS which normally costs just N4. According to him, the 7.5% VAT will henceforth apply to every outgoing call and SMS. The same applies every time someone purchases a data plan. Now, the interesting thing is that the longer the call, the more VAT one pays.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION 7.5% VAT on all outgoing calls.?
7.5% VAT on data purchase?
Mind the Way you make calls Now ? pic.twitter.com/QL52trOxBE
— WOSH ? (@woshtv) February 5, 2020
While this is the law, most people still cannot seem to come to terms with it. And as you can expect, they are blaming President Muhammadu Buhari, whose administration proposed the 2019 finance bill that introduced the VAT increase.
7.5% VAT … See what this buhari is inflicting on us.
By this time next month.. we go don dry like stock fish. pic.twitter.com/FpqCxJjHwP
— Revolutionary Benjamin (@zlatanbenjamin) February 5, 2020
President Buhari said there would be new finance bills to accompany every proposed national budget going forward. Nigeria is witnessing a revenue crisis due to declining crude oil earnings. As such, the government is trying to raise additional money by imposing more taxes.
[READ FURTHER: New tax regime to take effect from Jan 2 – FG)
Unfortunately, it is average Nigerians (who have very little earning power) that are mostly affected “negatively” by the 2019 Finance Act. As you can see in the tweet below, the situation has left some people feeling very frustrated.
If you want to be useless. I mean very useless. Depend on @MBuhari promises.
— chinanu Ndumele CN (@CN4real) February 5, 2020
Some people have even accused the government of indirectly taking back the new minimum wage which was recently increased to N33. 000. This is quite an accusation, although if you examine it closely, you may find yourself agreeing.
This was my exact thought when i saw the Minister of Finance announce the date of implementation of the 7.5% VAT on tv… Buhari is the devil himself….e gbagbe!?? https://t.co/YCaiK7Ukkr
— Taiwo Sekoni Opeyemi (@Taiye_lolu_) February 5, 2020