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FIRS Targets Tax-to-GDP Ratio of 20% by December 2018

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Plans are being made by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to increase the national tax revenue to the Gross Domestic Product ratio to at least 20 percent by December 31, 2018.

This information was revealed in a communiqué issued after a recent meeting of the Joint Tax Board and to achieve this target, the FIRS has started the introduction of some initiatives.

“Revenue authorities nationwide should ensure that all efforts are made to increase the national tax revenue to the Gross Domestic Product ratio to at least 20 per cent by December 31, 2018,” the communiqué said.

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According to the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Tunde Fowler, state tax revenue authorities have been instructed to explore all non-Personal Income Tax sources in bringing about an improvement in the non-PIT to Internally Generated Revenue.

Mr Fowler noted that tax administrators had a strong sense of responsibility to the nation.

“Our sense of responsibility stems from the fact that the nation is relying on us to provide it with adequate funds with which to fund its development objectives.

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“Moreso now that we can no longer rely on oil revenue as the major source of funding, we have to seek innovative ways to maximise non-oil revenue collection,” the taxman said.

According to him, in order to maximise non-oil revenue, the tax agency must provide taxpayers with the most convenient, transparent and efficient way to fulfil their tax obligation.

Mr Fowler said that the FIRS had been able to do this with the deployment of the six e-solutions which gave taxpayers a platform to conduct their tax transactions any day and time from anywhere in the world.

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“Nigeria’s tax-to-GDP ratio is still one of the lowest in the world and we have to increase this significantly if we are to provide the funds that will give us meaningful development and take the country back to the days when things worked,” he said.

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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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