Tax professionals seek increase in indirect taxation to improve revenue
Following Federal Government’s plans to increase Value Added Tax (VAT) rate from five percent to seven percent, tax professionals have maintained that there is the need to increase indirect taxation to generate more revenue for the government.
While they also hold government accountable for the diminishing infrastructure and standard of living of the populace, they urged that the government should intervene in critical sectors of the economy lacking in required infrastructural base for revamped economic prosperity of the nation.
President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Dame Gladys Simplice, who said the institute welcomed the development of the 2019 Finance Bill, especially on the institute’s persistent calls for its reintroduction, noted that the bill is seeking legislative backing for increase in VAT rate.
Speaking at the institutue’s 41st induction ceremony in Lagos, Simplice noted that the Finance Bill when passed into law, will among others, promote fiscal equity and tax incentives to mainstream small and medium scale businesses in driving economic growth and development.
This, she stressed, will also encourage dynamic growth in government revenue drive, and give legislative backing to measures geared towards addressing loopholes in tax laws. At the government level, Simplice noted that it was important that tax policy initiatives and reviews in tax laws are well-thought-out and followed through.
According to her, the government must avoid the propensity to introduce earmarked taxes with the intention of raising revenues while neglecting the impact that such action would have on businesses and economic activities.In his keynote address, the special guest of honour, Udochukwu Ogbonna, who charged the newly-inducted to uphold integrity as one of the tenets of the profession, also charged them to exhibit diligence and honesty as tax professionals.
For the government to generate more revenue, he urged the government to get power right and automate the system.“When you automate, it makes it easier for the tax authorities to get what belongs to them.“For the government to improve on voluntary tax payment, the correlation between economic growth and infrastructure is tax. So, if the people see that the government is providing amenities for them, they will be willingly ready to pay taxes. Apart from enforcement, the rate of compliance will be high,” Ogbonna said.
Meanwhile, the best graduating student, Bamidele Oreoluwa, who won an award as overall best for oil and gas taxation, urged his fellow graduates to abide by the rules and regulations of the institute, and be actively involved in the drive of the institute, “whereby we all will be able to positively impact in the development of the country when it comes to the issue of taxation and practical cases.”
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