Taxation has been a major source of revenue for the nation in the past decades, as government at all levels are facing various challenges due to a sharp drop in the global oil price, hence, government’s focus on taxation has increased.
Mrs. Nike Akande, President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI who disclosed this at the LCCI Taxation Round Table organised by the Chamber on Tuesday noted that the Chamber was formed to protect the interest of its members and the business community through public policy advocacy.
She said; “In line with its advocacy mandate, the chamber is organising this forum on taxation to enable stakeholders rub minds together on the issue of tax in Nigeria. We would exchange ideas on the issue of multiple taxation, numerous levies on businesses, tax laws and regulations; tax compliance and mode of enforcement. We would also situate the current drive for tax revenue and internally generated revenue (IGR) by the state governments in the context of current investment environment challenges. Ensuring a balance on these issues is worthy of engagement with tax authorities.”
In his presentation, Mr. Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), stated that Nigeria is currently ranked 169th out of 189 in the recently released World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, stressing that particular concern to the LIRS is that Nigeria ranked 181st of 189 Countries on the Ease of Paying Taxes index.
He said; “Analysts have identified that one of the major drawbacks responsible for this poor rating is ineffective tax administration. This makes it more expensive to voluntarily comply than not to comply at all. However, the analysts report stated that implementing reforms in property registration and tax administration could translate to improved ranking for Nigeria by at least 47 places.
“The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service has consistently been a pioneer of reform activities aimed at easing the process of doing business in Lagos State and by extension Nigeria. Some of the initiatives that have been recently introduced are as follows: The existing 6-page Form A has been revised to a 2-page Form which is now used for both Direct and Self Assessment. The revised Form and its Guide Notes have been translated to Pidgin English and Yoruba for ease of completion and wider reach.
“The Agency activated the provision of one per cent incentives for Self Assessment in accordance with Section 45 of PITA 2004 as amended. This is a statutory obligation which will be upheld. The National Tax Policy document defines multiple taxation as; “where the tax, fee or rate is levied on the same person in respect of the same liability by more than one State or Local Government.”
“The Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act, (Act No,21)as amended; expressly lists the applicable taxes, levies, fees and charges collectible by each tier of government. This ultimately eliminates multiple taxation although some confusion still arises in the differentiation of rates, fees, charges and taxes.