CITN hinges poor tax compliance on obsolete legislation, poor database
Among the many challenges confronting the country’s tax system, the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has listed multiplicity of taxes, obsolete tax legislations, poor database and tax touting as some of the issues impeding tax compliance by individuals and corporate entities.
The institute said the issues do not just affect the tax system but are also a disincentive to both local and foreign investments.
President and Chairman of Council, CITN, Adesina Adedayo, said this at a taxpayers’ sensitisation and enlightenment campaign organised by the institute, in collaboration with Cross Rivers State Internal Revenue Service.
However, he mentioned that some level of action has been taken towards addressing the issues, stressing that such actions will go a long way to eliminate touting and illegal road blocks for compliance.
At the subnational level, he said some states have harmonised the number of taxes collectible in active collaboration with the local governments while some have commenced the process of streamlining the manner of assessing, collection and appealing procedures of levies and charges to be collected by the local governments through executive bills at the states Houses of Assemblies.
He debunked the assumption that tax authorities, as collecting agents, were responsible for the non-deployment of revenue generated for good governance.
Explaining further, he said: “This is not the case as the tax authority only collects and remit to the government, who in turn determine how best to deploy the funds. In order to have the moral right to hold the government accountable, taxpayers must play their part.
“The starting point is for taxpayers to fulfil their obligations in line with the relevant tax laws administered by the tax authorities at all levels. This is as opposed to an erroneous impression held by many citizens who demand for the government to provide all the needed amenities before paying taxes.”
He said the programme was intended to provide in clear terms, various taxes applicable to corporate entities and individuals, the mode of filing returns, due dates for filing and penalties for default among others.
According to him, one of the key elements missing in tax mobilisation efforts in Nigeria today, is the seeming disconnect between the taxpayers and the tax authorities resulting in low tax compliance, which such disconnect can be abridged with a forum such as this.
He commended some state governments on exempting some category of individuals from paying taxes.
He said the actions would help to engender equity and reduce the level of poverty.
He gave the assurance that the institute will not relent in its enlightenment programme and will continue to engage relevant authorities towards achieving an efficient and effective Nigerian tax system.
Among the presentations made during the event, Dean, Faculty of Tax Policy and Administration, CITN, Banke Akanni, urged tax authorities not to relent in their efforts to continually grow their Personal Income Tax (PIT) and other taxes for economic growth and development.
According to her, holding the rights of the taxpayer sacred will enhance taxpayers’ perception of the tax authority and drive tax compliance.