Although Nigeria has its own tax law, it is important that this law is user-friendly, fair and flexible, so that the country can take advantage of the rapidly developing digital economy.
These were the views of Dr. Alexander Ezenagu, guest speaker at the 2022 edition of the Punuka Annual Conference, on the theme: “Taxation of the Digital Economy: Challenges and Prospects for the Nigerian Economy”.
Don University said that given the current international convention where digital commerce and economy is growing rapidly, a good tax law that will allow you to tax businesses, with physical presence or without physical presence, is what which Nigeria needs now given how fast the Nigerian digital economy is growing.
He further argued that Nigeria should raise its digital tax laws to royalty level.
Also speaking at the event, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba said that the digital economy is high on the list of untapped funding sources for the Nigerian revenue authorities and that it is the future of the nation.
Agba, who also toed the line of the guest speaker, said a delicate balance must be struck so that taxation of the digital economy does not stifle its growth, noting that taxes were the cornerstone of government .
According to him: “It is the blood with which the economy runs and functions, and without it, a government will not be able to fulfill its obligations towards the citizens.
“Anything that affects tax collection will therefore affect the health, existence and performance of government and the economy.”
He explained that the digitalization of the economy has revealed certain challenges and gaps in the existing tax practice, as it affects the allocation of taxing rights and the administration of taxes, in particular with regard to non-resident taxpayers. .
In her welcome address, the Managing Partner of Punuka Attorneys & Solicitors, Ms. Elizabeth Idigbe, said “the advent of the internet has given rise to great opportunities for globalization. The digital space in Nigeria has witnessed a Immense growth over the years. In January 2022, Kepios Data Analysis reports that internet users in Nigeria grew by 4.5 million”.
She further added, “that globalization has driven digital trade, commerce and taxation. It has also driven major digital advancements, with the emerging issues of cryptocurrency trading and cross-border digital trade.”
“It has become imperative to look at ancillary issues on taxation of the digital economy as it offers the Nigerian government enormous potential, and at the same time tax policy can be a drag on the growth of digital businesses. the theme of the annual conference for this year,” said Ms. Idigbe.
This year’s hybrid conference is the 14th in the series, and it was attended by a global audience.