…May bar airlines not linked to NCAA tax platform
By Amechi Ogbonna
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) at the weekend hinted it was developing a national taxation database that would prevent corporate and individual tax evaders from doing business in any part of the country.
Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Samuel Ogungbesan, who stated this at an interactive session with the media in Lagos, Friday, said a database with critical information on taxpayers in the country was currently being built to make it impossible for non-tax payers to conduct their business without paying relevant taxes to government coffers, particularly now that such inflows are directly needed to finance development projects.
According to him, FIRS is already collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that every Nigerian has a tax identification number (TIN) to facilitate tax assessment and payment, pointing out that at the end of the exercise, those who fail to get the TIN would not be allowed to operate their accounts in any bank in the country.
He said the Service was also working with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to stop airlines that are evading taxes from utilising the nation’s airspace before the end of August 2015 until they are ready to comply.
Ogungbesan who noted that Nigeria’s tax laws are hugely deficient, regretted that in a country of over 170 million, only about 125,000 of the 450,000 registered entities are actively paying taxes while others are dormant and inactive, despite the economy’s rating as the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. He noted that this has left the country’s tax to GDP contribution far below the global benchmark of 20 per cent.
The FIRS boss said, “we are not assessing our taxes appropriately because state governments are still administering taxes in their various jurisdictions while FIRS collects taxes in the Federal Capital Territory only. But even when we include all the state contribution to what we are collecting presently, we will be doing about 17.5 per cent of tax to GDP, which is still below the global benchmark of 20 per cent.”
Source : SunOnline