Presidency names 20 basic food items, sanitary pads, others on VAT exemption list
In a bid to ensure that the cost of living does not rise because of the changes in the Value-Added Tax (VAT), several essential food items, locally-manufactured sanitary towels, pads, and tuition fees have been added to the exemption list of goods and services on the VAT under the Finance Bill 2019 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Presidency said that the law would consolidate efforts already made in creating an enabling environment for improved private sector participation and contribution to the economy as well as boost states’ revenues. It also stated that the move was aimed at allaying the fears that low-income persons and companies will be marginalized by the new law, reduce the burden of taxation on vulnerable segments, and promote equitable taxation.
According to the President, “the Finance Bill will support the funding and implementation of the 2020 Budget. We shall sustain this tradition by ensuring that a Finance Bill also accompanies subsequent budgets.” Essential food items on the list are honey, bread, cereals, cooking oils, culinary herbs, fish, flour and starch, fruits (fresh or dried), live or raw meat and poultry, milk, nuts, pulses, roots, salt, vegetables, water (natural water and table water). Others are locally manufactured sanitary towels, pads, or tampons. The rest are services rendered by microfinance banks and tuitions relating to the nursery, primary, secondary, and tertiary education.