Institute, others seek improved tax system to enhance revenue
Tax authorities and other critical stakeholders have said there is an urgent need to address some key issues in the Finance Act, as well as improve the tax system if the government must generate more revenue.
The submission was made during the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) 2020 Business Luncheon, in Lagos, recently.
They noted that some of the issues that needed to be addressed include, multiple taxes, taxing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), tax exemption for businesses, delay in Value Added Tax receipt issuance, Tax Identification Number (TIN), among others.
Speaking earlier, the President, CITN, Gladys Simplice, said the luncheon was an opportunity for stakeholders to criticise, address and influence tax policies that affected them in the past, which are not addressed in the new Finance Act.
She said: “The feedback on issues in the tax system will be taken back to the government for appropriate action. It is a great opportunity for us to discuss what affects us as institutions, players and tax practitioners. We want feedback we can take to the government for effective implementation.”
Also, speaking, a Tax consultant, Kola Hamzat, noted that Nigeria is in dire need of revenue, which can only be possible through taxation, saying: “Since 80 percent of the Finance Act is tax-related, much may not be achieved in reviewing it on annual basis.
“The annual review will affect many businesses; it will amount to a lot of frustrations on business operators and companies and it will make multinational companies and foreign investors move away from Nigeria to invest in others climes.”
Also, Vice President, CITN, Adesina Adedayo, said there was the need for SMEs to have effective information exchange with tax authorities to guide decisions on taxing them.
“SMEs should know what they achieved in a particular year. If you cross an N25million threshold in 2019, you can tell the tax office on the basis of openness, I achieved N25million plus in 2019, whether you will be able to achieve it in 2020, is subjective. That information management will become the basis for dealing with you, and you need to be transparent, truthful and straightforward,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Tax Controller, Agidingbi Large Tax Office, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Olatunji Sosimi, appealed to tax practitioners and taxpayers to be patient with the present tax administrative system, as efforts were underway to fully automate the system for efficient and easy tax administration practice in the country.
He said: “The objective of taxation system automation is to replace cumbersome manual bureaucratic service systems, with collaborative, efficient, process-driven and secure online delivery systems.
“The automation will address every challenge encountered in the system which emanates from Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC), Filling, receipting, tax payment, stamp duty, and registration, while FIRS work out modalities to improve tax compliance.”
Also speaking, the Secretary, Joint Tax Board (JTB), Muhamad Abubakar, said the Board was working to ensure every taxpayer and corporate entities are issued the Tax Identification Number (TIN) within the next two months.
According to him, JTB is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to leverage the data from BVN, by way of uploading an individual’s BVN information into the JTB platform.