The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Ebonyi State has scored taxpayers in the state high on compliance. The revenue agency said although majority of taxpayers in the state are civil servants, they have been remitting their tax into government coffers accordingly.
Speaking in an interview in Abakaliki, Kenneth Effiong, tax controller, Abakaliki MTSO FIRS, also decried the absence of manufacturing companies in the state, which he said was a major challenge facing the agency in the state. He said most residents of the state are working-class, unlike in other states where there is a high concentration of businessmen and companies. “Ebonyi taxpayers are trying. I give them 60 percent, but we have challenges. Number one, Ebonyi State is not a business area and another thing, the people of Ebonyi, most of them are government workers,” Effiong said. “We do not really have businessmen in Ebonyi. And the ones we have are contractors; their tax comes when they are able to carry out contracts (projects) unlike in other states that we have industries and major businesses,” he said. Effiong disclosed that from time to time the FIRS goes to educate taxpayers in the state, adding that the current enlightenment programme going on in the state would last for five days. “We go out to educate taxpayers on tax matters and possibly bring them into tax payment. A lot of businessmen out there are complaining that they are not educated, are not being put through on what tax is all about. So, with the backing of the management, we now decided to use three days to go out and educate taxpayers on tax matters which is a routine job here as tax office,” he said. Effiong maintained that tax awareness, which is a routine exercise, helps the taxpayers to pay their value added tax on or before 21st of every month. He said within the week during the awareness exercise in Abakaliki, some shops had been closed down by the enforcement team for failure to pay their tax. The tax controller urged the taxpayers to try to pay their tax in time and avoid paying money to individuals to avoid falling into the hands of touts. Rather, he said, they should pay to banks that IFRS deals with directly. He said his office is open for enquiries and further directive as may arise.
Source: Business day