Tajudeen Akande is Senior Partner at PKF Nigeria (PKF Professional Services) and a member of PKF International - a global network of legally independent accounting/business advisory firms bound together by a shared commitment to quality, integrity and the creation of clarity in a complex regulatory environment. Here, Mr. Akande tells us about the transformation of the tax system in Nigeria, as well as the challenges of providing tax advice in the African country.
What would you say are the challenges of providing effective accounting and tax advice in Nigeria?
The main challenges of providing effective accounting and tax services in Nigeria include:
How has the tax system in Nigeria transformed throughout the years?
Nigeria’s tax system has evolved a lot over the years - from the pre-colonial era to the latest tax reform codified into a National Tax Policy.
In the traditional Nigerian society, the formalisation of taxation was practically non-existent. Citizens were only exposed to a variety of levies as dictated by paramount rulers and different traditional rulers created their different forms of taxes and levies.
To achieve conformity and uniformity in taxation, Raisman Commission was set up in 1958 by the colonial Government, which advised that basic income tax principles should be introduced and standardised across the country, which was accepted by the Government. Thus, direct taxation was incorporated into the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, after which the Companies Income Tax Act and Income Management Act of 1961 were established. This marked the foundation of Nigeria’s modern tax laws.
As a result of the increasing complexities in commercial transactions and glaring issues relating to practical interpretations of the laws, the Acts were repealed and reenacted giving rise to Companies Income tax Act CAP C21 LFN 2004 and the Personal Income tax Act CAP P8 LFN 2004, as well as other tax regulations which have changed the face of tax administration and practice in Nigeria.
Nigerian taxes are currently administered through the three levels of Government, as outlined in the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act (Amendment) Order of 2015.
The National Tax Policy (NTP) was first published in 2012, as part of the efforts to entrench a robust and efficient tax system in Nigeria. This was reviewed in 2016 in response to the rapidly changing commercial environment and persistent low tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio.
Recently, Nigerian tax administration has been reshaped and expanded to focus on international tax. Various measures have been put in place to curb base erosion and profit shifting, so as to improve government revenue. Some of these measures include Transfer Pricing Regulations, Double Tax Treaties and Multilateral Agreements. Also, the tax payment system has been automated. Tax payers can now pay, generate receipts and even file tax returns and obtain Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) online.
What are PFK Professional Services’ philosophy and top priorities towards its clients? How has this evolved over the years?
PKF is a global family of entrepreneurial minds working together, pooling our collective resources, experience and skillsets to add significant value to clients. We combine our understanding of local regulations, international perspectives and grasp of niche markets to create a simple, seamlessly executed approach. When you engage with PKF, you can be confident that the work will be carried out by dedicated and experienced professionals. We know the importance of having teams who have real sector experience.
The PKF ethos is about working together. We believe in giving teams the same encouragement as the individuals within them. We pursue a philosophy of shared responsibility and shared success. The most distinctive feature of PKF practice is our attitude towards our clients. Our people are good at building and developing relationships. This means getting to know our client’s organisation to understand their long-term needs.
Finance Monthly speaks to James Butler – experienced practitioner, business adviser to SMEs and Consulting Partner at GBW – an Irish company that wants to make sure that a choice exists for those smaller businesses that require a more hands-on approach than that offered by the larger firms.
What are the key services that GBW offers to clients?
We are a mid-tier firm of accountants and business advisers with varying specialties and backgrounds. Our services range from assisting with Audit, Assurance, Taxation and Accounting, through to Business Advisory and Corporate Recovery. Our cross-border service offering, business approach and sector expertise is primarily designed to support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, or organisations of equivalent scale, with existing or planned international operations.
GBW is an independent member of TGS – a global accountancy and legal network of independent firms specialising in the provision of accounting, audit, tax, business advisory and commercial legal services.
Tell us more about TGS?
Not all networks that are part of the group are the same. TGS member firms are all independently owned and share an entrepreneurial approach to their own and clients’ businesses. We have a shared commitment to the highest levels of technical expertise and professional standards. Our clients enjoy a rapid access to quality assured in country experts across the world, via a single point of contact.
We recognise that every client is unique and our cost-effective solutions are tailored to our clients’ unique requirements. Whether they require a full suite of accounting and business solutions or a one-off specialist service, TGS Global can provide precisely what our clients require, no more and no less.
You have extensive experience in Insolvency & Corporate Restructuring, and have acted as liquidator in both creditor and member voluntary liquidations. What does your role within GBW entail?
In my role within GBW, I deal with banks and financial institutions in all areas concerning distressed property and non-performing loans. I’ve also been involved in debt management and refinancing for both companies and individuals.
Additionally, I am also an experienced practitioner in taxation and business advice for businesses in the area of the licensed trade, professional services and medical practitioners.
Audit and Accounting
We aim to help our clients see the audit process as a benefit to their business, not just a cost.
Our taxation department has expertise in all categories of taxation, both our corporate to personal clients.
Business Advisory Services
All businesses require planning – form start-ups to mature businesses. Our business advisory experts can assist with the planning and execution.
Our Accounts department provides all types of assistance, whether be in-house or out sourced, we have the expertise.
If you are selling, buying or merging a business. If you are making an investment or raising finance – we can help with the decision making process.
Forensic and Litigation Support
In today’s changeable economic environment, business disputes are becoming more frequent and litigation is on the increase. At GBW, we draw on the firm’s wide expertise of our accounting professionals to advise our clients in claims assessment and provide independent expert accounting witness services.
Recovery and Restructuring
We are leaders in the provision of insolvency and restructuring services. Our team comprises of insolvency experts, forensic specialists and support staff who work together to provide a comprehensive and complete solution to any restructuring or insolvency project.