Tax from ICT firms fall by 43% in 3 months – NBS report

Tax from firms in the information and communication sector fell by N21.7 billoin from N51.05 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021 to N29.35 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

This is 42.51 quarter-on-quarter decrease according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. In its ‘Company Income Tax’ documents for both quarters, the NBS described the ICT sector as one of the major contributors to CIT in the nation.
In Q1 2022, ICT contributed 14.03 per cent and 19.72 per cent in Q4 2021 to CIT.

The statistics body said, “In terms of sectoral contributions, the top three largest shares in Q1 2022 were manufacturing with 21.31 per cent, information and communication with 14.03 per cent, and financial and insurance with 12.20 per cent.

“In terms of sectoral contributions, the top three largest shares in Q4 2021 were information and communication (N51.05 billion) with 19.72 per cent; manufacturing (N45.09 billion) with 17.42 per cent; and financial and insurance activities (N31.06 billion) with 12.00 per cent.”

According to the NBS, data for CIT is provided by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and verified and validated by it.

Recently, the Federal Inland Revenue Service said MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Airtel Networks Limited were two of its top 10 performing taxpayers in 2021. Also, MTN in April disclosed it paid about N757 billion direct and indirect tax to government agencies in 2021.

In a statement signed by the Company’s Secretary, Uto Ukpanah, the firm said, ““In 2021, MTN Nigeria’s total tax contribution to all government agencies including the FIRS amounted to N757.6 billion while FIRS collected a total of N6.4 trillion tax revenue in the year.

“Specifically, MTN Nigeria paid a total of N618.7 billion in direct and indirect taxes to the FIRS in the 2021 tax year, representing approximately 13.5 per cent of the total FIRS collection for the year.”
MTN disclosed that it paid N46.77 billion in taxes in Q1 2022 in its earnings release for the quarter. Airtel’s tax bill was not explicitly stated in its earnings release.

According to the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, telecom companies pay in excess of 36 different taxes and levies to three tiers of government.

A recent report by SBM Intelligence disclosed that the telecoms industry suffers from overtaxation as a result of its sustained growth in the last 20 years.

The report titled, ‘Taxing Nigeria’s subnational economies to oblivion’, said, “At the federal level, telecommunications companies are expected to pay taxes such as Companies Income Tax, the Capital Gains Tax, Withholding Taxes, Stamp Duty, National Industrial Training Fund, Employees Compensation Scheme, The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, National Housing Fund contributions, Contributory Pension Schemes, and Customs Duties.

“These taxes are applicable to all incorporated companies in Nigeria. There are also sector-specific taxes and levies such as the Annual Operating Levy paid to the Nigerian Communications Commission by all holders of licences issued by the regulator, the National Cybersecurity Fund, the National Information Technology Development Fund Levy and Right of Way charges.”

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