Stakeholders Urge Nigeria to Review Entire Tax System
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
**Want Strategies to Tackle Trust Deficit
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other tax authorities in Nigeria have been advised to come up with strategies that will address the trust deficit among taxpayers in the country, which they argued is responsible for the low tax compliance.
They submitted that an effective tax communication system and good use of taxes by the governments at various levels would encourage the citizens to pay their taxes without being forced to do so.
At the second annual national tax dialogue themed Tax Harmonisation for Enhanced Revenue Generation, which took place at Banquet hall, State House, Abuja, with President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance, it was also agreed that efforts must be made to increase tax revenue without raising the current taxes because it would become a huge burden on payers.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the gathering, it was stated that based on available data, countries with a smaller economy and tax base than Nigeria are faring better in terms of tax revenue collection and tax-to-GDP ratio because of a better tax system.
Participants noted that Nigeria must begin to look into having an effective tax system and a harmonised national taxpayer registration system. According to the stakeholders, a fragmented tax system compromises tax revenue generation.
They submitted that the country should have a single tax policy devoid of politics so as to function efficiently, noting that any discontent by state governments over the current revenue distribution framework should be addressed without any political undertone.
“The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), National Economic Council (NEC) and National Assembly should come up with an amicable resolution without delay,” a part of the bulletin said.
To help with an effective tax policy, the stakeholders called for the review of the entire tax system to identify measures, laws and others capable of inhibiting businesses, investments and growth of the Nigerian economy.
The team, they said, should also carry out a study of modern tax practices of relevant laws with a view to instituting similar ones in Nigeria and then provide a roadmap for the harmonisation of the nation’s tax system.