Executive chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Tunde Fowler, has disclosed that the Service would commence audit of taxpayers across the country in boosting the revenue of the nation. Fowler announced this in Lagos at a stakeholder meeting to discuss issues of national importance with respect to tax administration and the national revenue agenda, yesterday.
The meeting was also aimed to impact on the country’s revenue and how tax administration could be enhanced to meet the revenue requirements of the three tiers of government, federal, states and local governments. According to Fowler, the nationwide audit would ensure increased tax revenue collection, improved service delivery to taxpayers and enhanced voluntary compliance. He also called on stakeholders to support efforts to reposition tax administration system in the country.
Fowler, who is also the chairman of Joint Tax Board (JTB), said the board was determine to improve service to taxpayers at all levels and that a consolidated Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Data Base was already in place under the JTB. The FIRS boss said that all tax laws that were not in the interest of the taxpayers are already undergoing a process of review and that taxpayers and stakeholders must support tax authorities in the interest of the nation’s development.
“The greatest challenge for any tax administration is achieving and maintaining a high degree of self-assessment and voluntary compliance by taxpayers. Studies however show that the extent to which an economy is able to grow sustainably and develop depends to a large extent on its ability to generate tax revenue to finance its expenditure and the efficiency of its tax system.
“The questions that arise from these simple statements include how to identify areas of non-compliance; how to measure the level of non-compliance; and how to address the non-compliance.
“FIRS has put in place various strategies and initiatives to cushion this effect and ensure that we are able to improve tax revenue collection on a sustainable basis. Well-designed taxpayer services, education programs, and creative measures can facilitate self-assessment and compliance,” he explained. Fowler noted that the major determinant of tax compliance included changes in law, taxpayers’ attitudes to payment of right taxes and tax consultants offering the right advice to taxpaying public. At the event, some of the stakeholders raised concerns regarding the number of taxes and levies being collected and levied by different government agencies which were mostly not remitted completely.