Presidential committee restoring sanity to tax system space, says CITN

Ahead of the first-year report by the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) said the era of multiplicity of taxes has come to an end, especially as many governors are already streamlining state governments’ collections in their respective states.

The institute said where some states collect about 62 different types of taxes, with the help of the Taiwo Oyedele-led committee, they have streamlined to about 10, thereby bringing about sanity in the tax space.

President and Chairman of Council, CITN, Samuel Agbeluyi, said this during a pre-conference presidential chat ahead of the institute’s 26th yearly tax conference, slated to be held in Abuja, with the theme ‘Sustainable Tax Culture and Economic Roadmap for Nation Building’.

While he prayed for the political will from the report to be implemented at the federal, state and local government levels, he said the move was about sanitising the tax system to bring about a thriving economy and positive impact on business growth.

Agbeluyi, at the pre-conference chat, urged that Local Government chairmen who still block roads or use non-state actors to forcefully collect taxes from taxpayers be called to order.

“The local government chairmen must be called to order. There is no civilised government where you block roads to collect taxes or use non-state actors to collect taxes. You need to put a stop to this. The taxpayers must be respected and not be treated as thieves.

“Revenue authorities, especially at the sub-nationals, don’t need to tax people to poverty. It does not make any sense to harass the person making N20,000 N30,000 a month. They should be devoid of harassment. I am aware of people who can fund this country, who are wealthy men; we gently meet them because they work for their money. The government needs to partner with them, respect and appreciate them and collect more money from them. That is what is done across the world,” he said.

On capturing more Nigerians into the tax net, he said the institute is currently training some workers at the State Internal Revenue Service (SIRS) on how to track the income and profiling of Nigerians, especially many young Nigerians who venture on spending sprees on social media.

He said the conference has been mapped out with main themes and sub-themes, including paper presentations that would stimulate the country’s tax system.

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