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In a fortunate stroke of serendipity, faceoff with Twitter yields e-revenue, as Google begins VAT regime on Nigeria-based ads

Google has announced that its Nigeria-based advertisers will be charged 7.5% value-added tax, VAT,  on all ad placements from April 1, 2022.

“Due to new legislation in Nigeria, starting April 1, 2022, Google will be required to charge 7.5% VAT on all taxable goods and services.” the company stated in a legal notice to its users in Nigeria.

Recall that in 2021, the Nigerian government shut down the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, ostensibly for suspending the account of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The suspension triggered a series of engagements and negotiations between the Nigerian government and the social media giant.

In the light of the negotiations with Twitter, the Nigerian Senate passed the Finance Bill 2021, transmitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, on December 7, 2021. One of the major highlights of the Bill is the aspect empowering the Federal Inland Revenues Service, FIRS, to assess non-resident firms like Twitter, Meta, Google, and Netflix.

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had presented the Finance Bill as a part of fiscal reforms to boost revenues and diversify the oil-dependent economy.

Hovering at about 4.5% of GDP, Nigeria has one of the lowest tax rates in the world and has struggled to increase tax collection from the non-oil sector.

Value Added Tax, VAT, is a levy charged on each stage of production of goods and services to the end-user, usually the final buyer.

The implication of the VAT charge is that when you want to place an advertisement on Google with N1000, the money will be inclusive of a 7.5% VAT charge which means you will pay an additional N75 on the advertisement service worth N1000.

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