Accountant-General defends FG’s use of tax experts in revenue generation

Posted by News Express | 29 October 2015 | 3,447 times

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The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, said that the engagement of tax experts in revenue drive is beneficial in enhancing government existing capacities, particularly on revenues from taxation.

Idris said this at the opening of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) entitled ‘the challenges of effective tax legislation and revenue administration for the funding of public services in Nigeria and the role of tax professionals.’

Mr Idris was represented by the Director, Revenue and Investment, Mr Omoniyi Fagbami, on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that rigorous monitoring and compliance efforts would yield greater result both at the state and national level in terms of taxation.

Idris said that the capability to administer all tax laws, including Companies’ Income Tax Act; Personal Income Act; Value Added Tax Act and Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act had placed onerous responsibilities on the tax administrators.

“The challenges of effective administration of tax have always been the issue of appropriate tax authority to administer several taxes like multiplicity of taxes administered by all the three tiers of government.

“The solutions to these challenges lie in the political will to dissect the tax laws and remove the multiplicity of taxes.”

Idris called on relevant government agencies to work together in building a good data base and employment of automation to support the efforts of tax administrators for result based programmes.

The President, CITN, Dr Somorin Abiola, said that the aim of the conference was to make recommendations that would provide effective tax legislation in Nigeria.

Abiola said there were measures the government needed to put in place to have effective tax legislation by regularly amending tax laws.

“There are some tax laws that require amendments; there are some words that are ambiguous and if a law is ambiguous it is capable of different interpretations and sometimes this causes confusion in the tax system.

“There are some sections of the laws that need to be expunged and they are still in the tax laws; for example, we still have Value Added Tax Tribunal; there is no more value added law tribunal.”

She said that there were other sections of the law that were capable of double interpretation.

The president said that the Federal Inland Revenue Service submitted nine bills, including the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) in 2005, to the National Assembly, adding that the bills were not passed into law until 2011.

“That was too long a time. All these do not make tax legislation effective.”

The Acting Chairman, FIRS, Mr Tunde Fowler, said that Nigerians had no choice than to comply with the payment of tax.

Fowler said that the essence of tax payment was to boost government revenue, adding that this would bring about economic development.

He said that the service had launched a campaign to educate Nigerians on the essence and benefit of tax payment.

Fowler called on all Nigerians and stakeholders to do the right thing in paying of tax, adding that this would support the government in providing necessary infrastructure to boost the development of the country.

Earlier, the Chairman, CITN Abuja, Mr Simon Kato, said that taxation was the source of government revenue anywhere in the world.

Kato called for tax education for tax payers.

“Until we are able to take Nigerians to the extent where they will appreciate why they should pay taxes, that challenge is what we need to tackle and my concern is for that to be addressed.” (NAN)



Source: News Express

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