Obviously, there was urgent need to innovatively find ways to raise more revenue for Nigeria. The drop in prices of oil at the international market and the outbreak of the soul-threatening coronavirus pandemic at that time gave reasons for countries to find alternative revenue sources, especially, focusing on the non-oil sector to build buffers for their economies and insulate same from external shocks. Nigeria was faced with acute revenue problem. As a rescue operation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) introduced what is now codenamed: TaxPro Max solution.
TaxPro Max, a ‘self-service tax portal’ was birthed to increase voluntary tax compliance. It is a digital platform
where taxpayers can file tax returns, pay taxes, apply for and validate tax clearance certificates among other services, by themselves on online platforms located in FIRS tax offices across the country. This initiative is aimed at supporting taxpayers in the optimised use of the TaxPro Max solution.
“As part of the Service’s effort to enhance voluntary tax compliance, the SelfService Stations will, among other things, provide taxpayers the opportunity to carry out the following services online while in the Tax Office: Filing tax returns; Paying taxes; Applying for and validate TCCs; Generating receipts and credit notes,” the tax watchdog had said at the launch of the platform.
TaxPro Max is FIRS’ flagship tax administration solution for automated end-to-end processing of its tax administration function. It is a game-changer through which FIRS achieved over 100 per cent of its 2021 collection target.
In 2021, FIRS collected N6.405 trillion (N2.008trilion from oil and gas revenue), and (N4.396 trillion from non-oil and gas), against a target of N6.401 trillion. The TaxPro Max Portal can be accessed by taxpayers from anywhere and in the comfort of their home/office.
It has been deployed in all FIRS offices nationwide, with the following functionalities (Registration, Filing, Assessment, Payment, Issuance of Tax Clearance Certificate and receipts for resident and non-resident taxpayers
eRegistration: Taxpayers (resident and non-resident companies) can be registered on TaxPro Max (https://taxpromax.firs.gov.ng), on a user-friendly interface.
Here a ‘resident company’ is a Nigerian business registered or incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, while a ‘non-registered company’ (NRC) is a business/individual not registered or incorporated in Nigeria but derives income or profits from Nigeria in any kind of business it operates.
The TaxPro Max system connects to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to retrieve accurate details of your business incorporation and issues/enables/validates your unique business Tax Identification Number (TIN). Once allocated, the TIN cannot be changed.
After which, you can update as you deem fit, personal and business information for tax administration purposes and applied across all taxes.
e-Filing: Taxpayers are required to file returns on a periodic basis on TaxPro Max (Manual filing/intervention is prohibited). The TaxPro Max system accommodates different tax period such as bi-monthly, bi-annual.
All submissions made on TaxPro Max is seen as self-assessment. Your business or tax consultant/agent can now file return on TaxPro Max, for CIT, VAT, WHT, WVAT, PAYE, PIT, EDT, NITDEF, STAMP DUTY, EMTL, NASENI, POLICE TRUST FUND. Businesses in Insurance, Aviation & Shipping Sectors can also file their CIT returns on the system. On TaxPro Max you can utilize credit notes while filing CIT for your business. Also, your business will receive notices on due dates for filing, payments and penalties.
e-Payment: The taxpayer can pay through multiple payment channels – online, direct debit, debit cards, payment gateways (Remita, InterSwitch, eTransact) etc, integrated with TaxPro Max. You can make tax payments in installments. Taxpayer can view/calculate payment amounts and schedules prior to committing to an installment payment agreement. Taxpayer can view interests charged to their business on a daily or monthly basis until payment is executed.
e-Receipts: You will get FIRS-branded receipts for payments made, sent automatically to the email address your business used in registering with FIRS. The authenticity of an e-Receipt can also be verified by scanning the QR bar on the top right corner of the e-Receipt with your QR reader. e-Receipt can be verified by visiting https://tcc.firs.gov.ng/
e-TCC (electronic Tax Clearance Certificate): After fulfilling the tax obligation of your business, you can request for the e-TCC from the comfort of your home or Office. Application for the Tax Clearance Certificate can only be made electronically and online by visiting https://tcc.firs.gov.ng/.
Upon approval, a link to download the e-TCC will be instantly sent to the e-mail where the TCC can be printed. The authenticity of an e-TCC can also be verified by visiting https://tcc.firs.gov.ng/, clicking on the verify e-TCC button and entering the TCC Number and TIN of the Company. You can also use the QR Reader, to scan the QR bar on the top-right-corner of the e-TCC, to verify authenticity of the e-TCC.
Tax Accounting: You can view your business’ financial transactions history/ account activities including penalties, interests, previous payments, new filings, adjustments, assessments, etc. Your business records are accurate, safe and confidential on TaxPro Max. The TaxPro Max portal also provides an audit trail log of all transactions – such as identifying date and time of updates and who performed the tasks. It is security-enabled to prevent unauthorized access or modifications.
The Service will continue to sensitize the entire public at different levels, on using TaxPro Max for filing, assessment and every other tax administration related issues. MDAs, Private Sectors organisations, Financial Institutions, Banks, Payment Gateways, Accounting and Auditing firms, Professional bodies and Consultants, and other Taxpayer categories not mentioned have been sensitized and taken through various hand-holding sessions.
TaxPro Max Focal Officers in every tax office nationwide and FIRS entire Change network are proactive in identifying gaps, resolving issues and localizing TaxPro Max content and information. The sensitization is an ongoing process and projected to last as updates are made to the application.
Detailed step-by-step guide for functionalities of TaxPro Max system can be found at https://taxpromax.firs.gov.ng and www.firs.gov.ng respectively.