Tax Returns Becomes Another Pain for Small Businesses



By Abiodun Oyetunji


There are indications that a bullish tax regime of the current governments both at federal and states levels as well as local government levies have turned into another nightmare to small businesses.

An operator of a cybercafé on Otigba Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Mr. Kehinde Orojimi, told SME Reports last week that had received visits from at least four groups of tax and levy men within one week alone demanding for evidences of payments of the various taxes, levies and permits.

According to him, ‘‘the number of taxes and levies they now ask for is increasing and it is affecting the profit I make on this business.

‘‘I don’t even remember the names they call some of the taxes and levies because they are so many with new ones coming up every time.’’

The issue of multiple taxations have been on the front burner of business environment discussions in Nigeria for a long time now, but it had appeared to be normal that not many businesses honour the obligations.

This appear to be undermining even the governments that imposed the taxes as Orojimi disclosed that in most cases he ends up bribing the tax men and get them to overlook his business when next they come hunting for taxes.

However, the situation appears to be getting more complicated with some new developments in the taxation policy.

Another small business owner,  Mr. Kenneth Nwaofor, told SME Reports that he could not open a current account for his company, Seamless Investments Limited, because the bank asked for his tax certificate which he does not have.

He said the development has stalled some of the business deals he would have executed since payment would be made into the account as specified by the client.

Consequently, he said he has started processing his tax papers for the company in other to continue his business.

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