JTB targets 45m taxpayers by September 2019 – Fowler

The Joint Tax Board (JTB) Chairman, Mr. Tunde Fowler, on Thursday, expressed optimism that 45 million Nigerians would be within the taxpayers’ net before the end of the third quarter of 2019. Fowler disclosed this at the inauguration ceremony of the new South West Regional National Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) registration system and consolidated national taxpayers’ database in Lagos.

Fowler, who is also the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), explained that the new system would promote a tax-friendly environment. He noted that the last four years had seen the expansion of the tax base from 10 million to 20 million tax payers with the potential for an increase of up to 45 million before the end of the third quarter. The JTB boss added that there had been growth in the Internal Generated Revenue of states by 46.11 per cent from N800.02 billion in 2016 to N1.16 trillion in 2018. According to him, growth in FIRS collections increased by 53.81 per cent from N3.30 trillion in 2016 to N5.32 trillion in 2018; with the 2018 total collection of N5.32 trillion being the highest collection ever in the history of FIRS. He said non-oil revenue accounted for 54 per cent with a collection of N2.85 trillion during the period. “We hope that this gesture will encourage state governments to also promptly remit all Withholding Taxes and VAT due to the Federation Account,” Fowler stated. Fowler said the new system would reinforce the laudable efforts of the present administration towards building a robust tax-revenue system, promoting a tax-friendly environment. He added that the system will also ensure a sustainable and inclusive economy for all Nigerians. Fowler noted that the new tax system, while improving the efficiency and output of the entire tax administration process, was meant to provide convenience to both the taxpayers and the tax administrator. He said the new system guaranteed that each taxpayer’s details were readily available to them at their fingertips all times. Fowler stated that the South West Geopolitical Zone was the largest contributor to total IGR collection at the sub-national level with 45.6 per cent contribution in 2018. He added that Lagos State had continued to carve a niche for itself in terms of innovation and dynamism in tax administration. Fowler said the new system would consolidate the efficiency and effectiveness of the tax administration process. The JTB Executive Secretary, Mr Oseni Elamah, said the dynamics of change globally, especially as it related to information and communications technology had made it imperative that domestic tax-revenue the administration met up with emerging trends. Elamah said the new TIN Registration System and its consolidated database of individual and corporate taxpayers’ had been designed to form the foundation upon which the nation’s automated tax administration system was built. “The new system is a web-based solution that offers access to authorised users to initiate a TIN request from the comfort of their homes/offices real-time online, verify their tax status and print their TIN certificate. “It is a transparent system that assures timely and accurate collection and recording of basic identification data. “It also permits the tax administrator to understand its taxpayer base for effective revenue projections and other planning activities. “By leveraging on existing data from relevant identity management agencies, the new system reduces the burden of multiple registrations of taxpayers as well as promoting the ease of doing business and paying taxes,” Elamah said. Also speaking, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said identity management (IM) had been a major challenge in virtually all spheres of activities in the country and tax administration was no exception. Sanwo-Olu stated that the new JTB National TIN Registration System was a welcome addition to reforms focused on taking identity management and tax administration in Nigeria to the next level. He agreed that Nigeria’s tax revenues continued to underperform their actual potential, and that Nigeria tax-to-GDP ratio was one of the lowest in the world at less than seven per cent. The governor commended JTB for rising up to the challenge with the introduction of a smart, innovative and technology-driven the solution that was credible and had the added benefit of universal acceptability.


Source:  Daily times