Ever since the crash in fuel prices at the international scene, revenue from taxes has risen to the occasion as a viable alternative to meeting financial obligations across the nation. This has shifted the focus and created awareness to explore the fullness of inherent tax potentials such that it is not uncommon these days to hear of the introduction or re-introduction of taxes across sectors and states of the federation.
On the contrary, the government must now tread with caution in its quest for more tax revenue. This warning is coming from the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Nigeria. The professional body wants the government to steer clear from introducing taxes that will do more harm than good.
In its analysis, CITN explained that introducing taxes must be done after due review and considerations of the current economic realities as specific to any industry. This is how to avoid causing more harm than good.
The stern warning was on the heels of appraising the Finance Act of 2019 and 2020 at the recently held 44th induction ceremony of the institute in Lagos under the leadership of its president, Dame Olajumoke Simplice. The Finance Acts for the stated years were brought into the spotlight for the incentives offered to cushion the effects of the difficult times as posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
On how to generally improve the tax regime, the symposium offered the solution of adding simplicity to the system to foster easy enforcement and in the long long, compliance.
To bridge the gap of technical know-how in tax administration in the country, the need to place professionalism at the forefront was emphasized to the inductees which became the highlights of the charge to the administration and administrators.
Dame Olajumoke Simplice’s charge
“At the governmental level, it is important that tax policy initiatives and reviews in tax laws are well thought out and followed through.
“We have consciously seen government’s efforts in the amendment of our tax laws through the Finance Act, 2019 followed by the Finance Act, 2020.
“Government must avoid the propensity to introduce earmarked taxes to raise revenues while neglecting the impact that such action would have on businesses and economic activities.
“The thinking of Section 2.2.6 of the Revised National Tax Policy 2017 is that our ‘taxes should be few in number, broad-based and high revenue yielding.
“We will benefit from your active involvement in all institute’s activities as this is one of the ways you can contribute your quota to the growth and development of the institute.