Bayelsa warns fraudulent officials, unifies tax policy
Bayelsa State has warned fraudulent tax agents to stop their illegalities or face the full wrath of the law. The state Deputy Governor Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, said yesterday during an unscheduled visit to the tax centres, that it had come to government notice that some of the officials were engaged in dishonest practices capable of sabotaging the internally generated revenue (IGR) target.
Some of these practices, he said include levying investors who visit to the state with unsolicited tax demands, non-remittance of money collected to the state and others actions, which put the state in bad light.
The Deputy Governor said the state had articulated a new and improved plan to boost IGR, with a unified tax collection policy.Rear Admiral Jonah disclosed that his visit was sequel to the reports government got about the unwholesome activities of tax officials at some of the centres.
He said it was sad to note that in spite of the transparency policy of the administration, some people were engaging in fraudulent acts, which were negatively affecting revenue drive of the government.
To check their fraudulent activities, the deputy governor said that in 2017, government would introduce a cashless tax collection policy.According to him, as from 2017, government would introduce a booklet highlighting the taxes to be paid into its coffers. Also, the taxes would be paid through Point of Sale (POS), instead of the previous cash policy.
Rear Admiral Jonah said the policy was aimed at checkmating fraudulent practices among the collectors and boost the IGR.The state, he maintained could no longer rely on monthly allocation from the Federation Account alone, as evidence in 2016 had shown that any state that wants to survive the present economic recession needs to look inwards.
He also warned the collectors and security operatives at the various centres against harassing the innocent public, rather they should be civil in their approach.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite was poised to restore sanctity and sanity in all sectors.Obuebite added that with the new method from January 2017, government would checkmate tax fraud, as well as have accurate estimate of how much the state earns from IGR.
According to Obuebite, the era of extorting businessmen and women, who venture into the state has come to an end.