Year in, year out, a recurring decimal when presenting the scorecard for taxation in the country has revolved around issues of multiple taxations across sectors. The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS in recognition of this irregularity via its chairman, Muhammed Nami has prescribed pragmatic ways to curb this menace in the system.
Prompt identification of grey areas, amendment of conflicting provisions in the FIRS Establishment Act of 2007 alongside the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Internal Revenue Establishment Act as spearheaded by the National Assembly has been pointed to as the solution to multiple taxations in the country.
According to the FIRS boss who is also the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board, these suggested constitutional amendments will truncate the trend of multiple taxations in the nation by adding clarity to the conflicting provisions that allow a double standard to exist.
Buttressing Nami’s stand at a recent tax retreat held in Abuja, Dr. Timothy Olawale the Director-General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, and Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, the FCT Minister of State, jointly agreed that double taxation, exorbitant demands for payments which do not align with bye-laws, and passage of bye-laws without consultation with businesses as some of the grey areas in tax administration in FCT.
These identified areas according to the experts continue to undermine the tax administration with the aftermath of huge revenue loss to the government considering the frequent intervention of consultants as constitutional provision remains contentious and conflicting.
The NECA DG in light of this, wants the adoption of consultants completely abolished and ensure that NECA officials are empowered for decision making, seeing to tax harmonization in compliance with the law of the land.
For the FCT, the state minister agreed to the call for tax harmonization to prevent the prevalent incidence of multiple taxations with a motive to easing the burden off the residence in the capital territory.
As a roadmap to eradicating tax multiplicity, FCT will now put in place machinery that will harmonize legalities in line with the relevant local authorities to curb any constitutional misunderstanding that may ensue.
FIRS recommends further
In setting a clear-cut action plan, FIRS through its boss emphasizes that resolving tax conflicts regarding constitutional provisions will in no small measure, educate stakeholders on the requirements and obligations of existing tax regimes, and state clear rules of engagement in statutory collections as it pertains to the various levels of government.