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HomeHEADLINESTax reforms are imperative to enhance revenues, says FIRS boss

Tax reforms are imperative to enhance revenues, says FIRS boss

THE Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami has identified elaborate reforms as imperative in the drive to attain optimum tax revenue by tax authorities at all levels in the country.

In his address at the 153rd meeting of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), on Monday in Abuja, Nami, who is also the Chairman of the board, noted that tax authorities must adopt innovative initiatives that will lead to the optimisation of revenue.

A press statement by the chairman’s Special Assistant on media, Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola, noted that the theme of the meeting was “Harmonization and codification of taxes at the National and Sub-national levels: Key to achieving a tax friendly environment in Nigeria.”

According to the statement, Nami assured chairmen of state revenue boards that eradicating multiplicity of taxes will be central in rebuilding the economy, given the thrust of the Federal Government’s tax policy. 

He stated: “As the new administration’s attempt to address the many socioeconomic challenges facing the nation on many fronts, it becomes imperative for all levers of State to shake off any lethargic antecedents and focus on the goal of a national resurgence.

“Our positions as drivers of the nation’s tax administration processes presents us with a rare opportunity to take hard, but necessary decisions that are expected to yield long term benefits and add immense value to our collective prosperity as a nation.

“In recent years, especially since the dawn of our current democratic dispensation, the importance of taxation has continued to be reiterated and reinforced, and the critical role that tax-revenue plays in funding government and governance cannot be over-emphasized.

“However, as we continue to make progress in our unique model of taxation, it is appropriate that we continue to explore and adopt measures and innovative initiatives that will lead to the optimization of tax revenue for all the levels of government, in more efficient, more effective, more inclusive, and more sustainable ways.”

The Chairman, Presidential Fiscal Policy & Tax Reforms Committee, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, in his presentation noted that multiple taxation was a disincentive to investors as it made room for corruption.

He noted further that the rather than introducing more taxes, the focus should be on reducing the taxes to a single digit and the few high yielding taxes which tax authorities would be able to collect better than is currently the case.

Taiwo stated: “We also need to clarify on taxing rights. We need to integrate tax collection functions—that is, all revenues that are to be collected must be collected by a single revenue agency.”

While calling for proper funding of tax agencies, Taiwo advocated for the use of technology by tax authorities, a review of the constitution and tax laws, and a review the nation’s fiscal federalism.

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