The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Saturday urged Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to pay taxes to attract investors.
FIRS Deputy Director, Mrs Angel Fadahunsi, made the appeal at the Techpoint Build expo held in Lagos.
Techpoint Build is a conference and exhibition that connects startups and SME community with industries, bringing together people from across Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
According to her, taxes are collected from business owners to sustain the nation and to provide amenities that will enhance both lives and businesses.
“SMEs need to pay taxes, firstly because it is the law, needed for the development of the nation, provision of social amenities like road, hospital, taxes are needed to sustain these things.
“Lots of SMEs are looking for investors that will invest in their business but an investor will only invest in businesses that pays tax to avoid being shut down,” she said.
Fadahunsi also adviced the SMEs that in planning for their business, they needed to factor paying of bills like taxes into it.
She said that complaining that taxes paid were too much was not the case as tax payment whether with the federal, state or local government was essential to avoid business closure.
She listed some basic steps that would guide the SMEs as to first register the business immediately to get the Tax Identification Number (TIN) which she added was free.
She urged them to keep proper records of their business expenses as much as possible , so that when they start making profit, they would be able to make the right tax payment.
She pointed out that the Value Added Tax goes with goods and services and grace period was not attached to it, adding that once profit was made, tax was required.
“Tax is laid on profit between 20 to 30 per cent and that is why proper business records is required.
“If the business did not make any profit in a year, it behoves the owner to file the returns so that the FIRS will know,” she said.
Also Mrs Kemi Balogun, Team Lead, Tech and Service Partnership, AXA Mansard Insurance PLC., said that insuring businesses was to protect it from unforseen events.
According to her, an SME is not expected to have so much money to put, so when one sets up their business, the first insurance policy to do has to do with the persons and employees health.
“Insurance is affordable for an SME and is key to making the business stand against all odds.
“Having good health is paramount and you cannot run your business well if you are sick, so the need to insure against accident and others.
“The next is insuring the equipment and structure, the assets that so much money was put in to start the business against theft, flood, fire and others,” she said.