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Multiple Taxation: FIRS Harmonises Taxes in 36 States

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

As part of efforts in tackling the problem of multiple taxation in the country, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has commenced harmonising taxes.

Already, the tax agency has reached out to the 36 states of the federation including Abuja, the nation’s seat of power.

The issue of collection of multiple taxes by government, especially states, has been a major worry for business owners in the country.

Speaking on Friday at a roundtable organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in Abuja, Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Babatunde Fowler, said the agency was already working on solving the problem.

According to him, when this is done, tax payers would know what to pay. Mr Fowler said many states hide under FIRS to tax citizens, but said very soon, government would come up with policies on harmonised taxation.

“Some of the taxes Nigerians complain of as being imposed on them, especially on the market women, are done by states, not FIRS, Mr Fowler disclosed.

The nation’s chief tax collector, represented at the event by the Senior Manager on Investigation at FIRS, Ms Clara Nnachi, stated further that, “The Joint Tax Board as a body is working together with the FIRS to harmonise tax collection from small businesses all over Nigeria.”

“We have the National Tax Implementation Committee working on the National Tax Policy to harmonies the taxes that are being paid in different states.

“It is going to address the issue of multiple taxation,” he added.

On his part, Chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Mr Abdullah Candido, said the council was also working to curb multiple taxation in the FCT.

Also, President of National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Mrs Ruth Agbo, said women as traders and farmers were part of the labour force contributing to economic growth.

“Most of the women in the informal sector do not have shops.

“They are forced to trade outside but they are still taxed by different tax collectors.

“The taxes are many; sometimes, the women cannot complain because of ignorance.

“Many of them live on daily proceeds and because they want to survive, they are compelled to pay multiple taxes,” she said.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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