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‘Categorisation challenges may tempt organisations to evade tax payment’

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Tax


Unresolved challenges on categorisation of tax by government institutions may tempt corporate organisations, especially new ones, to continue to evade tax payment.

Under such circumstances, affected organisations are often time told to go ahead and make payments pending the resolution of such issues.

Giving insight into why companies evade tax yesterday, a Council member, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Jacqueline Odiadi, also identified the multiplicity of taxes and the absence of the right structures as parts of the discouragement encourage corporate organisations to employ and prowl well.

Odiadi, who is also the Chairman of the Roundtable on Corporate Governance, said this when she led a team on a courtesy visit to Rutam House, Headquarters of The Guardian Newspapers.

She said these and more are some of the governance issues to be discussed at ICSAN’s forthcoming in 2018 Roundtable on Corporate Governance, slated for May 16th, in Lagos, themed: “Board Evaluation and Succession: The Antidote to Corporate Failure.”

According to her, it is wrong for an organisation not to pay tax. “But what incentives do government give? What policies do we have on tax holidays? How are we addressing the multiplicity of taxes? Until the issues of multiplicity and non-harmonisation of taxes are addressed, lapses on tax laws by corporate organisations would continue to linger,” she argued.

On what informed the roundtable, she said ICSAN aimes at promoting good governance in both the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy, with a view to ensuring compliance with international best practices.

She said the programme will x-ray contemporary issues in the economy and proffer solutions as appropriate, through a communiqué, which will form a programme of action.

Expected to chair the event is corporate governance trainer, Angela Aneke, while the guest speaker is a former president of ICSAN, Nosike Agokei.

She decried the rising incidence of companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which set up foundations and corporate social responsibilities as means for evading requisite taxes, noting that there are better ways of reducing tax exposures.

She said: “There is a guide to having a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. If you are in the health sector, we have primary health facilities that are not adequately funded; we have scarcity of drugs and enough issues that need to be addressed. You have not finished addressing the challenges in your sector and you are jumping into other sectors. These are the yearnings we bring to the table. You have to identify the gaps in your sector; these are some of the things that form the development of the CSR policy for a corporate organisation.

“These are the things chartered secretaries would not do. These are the things we are advocating, and we hope that The Guardian would partner with us in ensuring that certification is well respected,” Odiadi said.


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