‘13.4million Nigerians in tax net’

FIRS
State tax authorities have added 3, 414, 496 million
new taxpayers to the national tax register under six months, bringing
the total number of individual taxpayers in the country to

13.4 million,
the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said yesterday.

Kano State led the new taxpayer roll with about one million taxpayers
(944, 376). Lagos followed with 320,000 new taxpayers. Plateau State is
third with 296,910, while Kaduna added 235,812 new tax paying men and
women within the period.
Zamfara State is fifth on the list of new taxpayers’ table with 136,773.
Chairman Joint Tax Board (JTB), Tunde Fowler, who is also the
Executive Chairman, FIRS, disclosed this at the Transcorp Hilton in
Abuja during the 136th meeting of the board.
Mr. Fowler noted that though the new 3.4 million roll of new
taxpayers is cheering news, it is still a far cry of tax to Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of 30 per cent which is the average in most
developed countries.
At the event,  the FIRS chairman; the Comptroller General of the
Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali (rtd); Corps Marshal of the
Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi;
Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Mohammed
Babandede, who was represented by N. E Graham, discussed how robust
inter-agency cooperation could enhance tax compliance and optimise
revenue collection.
The Chief Executive Officers of the four agency heads, along with
chairmen of the State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIRs), also came up
with fresh ideas on how real-time data sharing, automation of processes
and operations by all SBIRs, revenue stakeholders, inter-operability of
their databases, could enhance revenue generation and assist Nigeria to
bake a bigger revenue cake.
The target of the JTB is to increase the number of individual taxpayers to 20 million by December.
The JTB chairman noted that about 10 states were already sharing
Withholding Tax (WHT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) data with the FIRS under
the VAT data automation project.
This, he explained, was made possible by deployment of Information
Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and installation of requisite
software across the states.
Soon, the JTB chairman promised, the Taxpayers Identification Number
(TIN) cards would be upgraded to hold robust taxpayer data which all
SBIRs, FIRS and authorised stakeholders could query for taxpayer data
status.
He announced too that the collaboration between FIRS and the SBIRs
was yielding fruits as their teams now conduct joint audits, share
information on unremitted taxes and taxpayer education in many states
among others.
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