The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN has intensified efforts on tax enlightenment, noting that it was a major strategy to enhance tax compliance at all levels.
While addressing key stakeholders at a sensitisation and enlightenment campaign for taxpayers in Rivers state recently, President of CITN, Adesina Adedayo maintained that there is a seeming disconnection between the taxpayers and tax authorities, resulting in low tax compliance.
He stressed that such gap can be abridged by constantly engaging relevant authorities and stakeholders to achieve an efficient and effective tax system.
He worried that despite being a veritable source of revenue to government, taxation is usually not applied voluntarily, leading to coercion and other actions on the part of the authority to elicit compliance.
He said, “Often times, this situation is due to dissatisfaction with the level of service delivery, quality of governance and accountability by government.
“This notwithstanding, the starting point is for taxpayers to fulfil their obligations in line with the relevant tax laws administered by the tax authorities at federal, state and local government levels. This is as opposed to an erroneous impression held by many citizens who demand for government to provide all the needed amenities before paying taxes.”
Also speaking on the ongoing Value Added Tax(VAT) tax tussle between the federal and some states government, a tax experts at PwC, Esien Ukorebi maintained that not all states have the capacity and mechanisms to collect VAT.
According to him, states would require huge investment to maximise tax collection.
He said, ” A huge investment in technology, personnel and infrastructure is needed at the state levels to be able to collect and reconcile VAT so as not to increase the level of inflation in the country.”
He further argued that states are likely to forget their push to collect VAT should federal government reviewed it allocation method, whereby states that contribute the highest VAT are allocated a larger pool of revenue.
Earlier, the Dean, Faculty of Tax Policy and Administration, CITN, Banke Akanni stated that the programme aimed to assist taxpayers in discharging their tax obligations in order to avoid penalties for default of tax laws.
“Besides, we aim to promote friendliness amongst the various stakeholders for the purpose of tax revenue maximization,”she added.