The Rivers State Internal Revenue Service said on Monday that it would soon begin to collect taxes from roadside traders and others from the informal sector in the state. Chairman of RIRS, Adoage Norteh, who disclosed this to newsmen in Port Harcourt, explained that the agency was planning to meet with various trade groups, including transporters and petty traders, to sensitise them on the decision. Norteh pointed out that the agency would collaborate with the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Environment, State Waste Management Agency and other relevant agencies, in order to actualise the new tax plan.
He insisted that collecting tax from roadside traders and others in the informal sector would not amount to double taxation and added that no trader would be harassed as hoodlums would not be allowed to be part of those on tax drive. He said, “The idea of this meeting this morning is to unveil the new tax plan that we intend to carry out. It is not like we are not continuing with what we are doing, but we are going to face the informal sector. “The informal sector is where most of these people that do not have organised businesses belong. The challenge we have had in our system is that not a lot of persons understand what tax is. “People think that tax is for some people, especially those who are working. For those who work in the media, your tax is deducted when your salary is being paid. But for the person who is in the informal sector and makes more money than those working; he thinks he should not pay tax. “The other part is that there is a lot of confusion over what is a tax and a levy. If you have to pay something for putting your store somewhere, that is not a tax; that is a levy. If you like, call it dues for putting your store there. Describing multiple taxations as a thing of the past in Rivers, Norteh noted that the state would never engage in multiple taxations. “There is a lot of noise about multiple taxations. In the Rivers State Revenue Service, we don’t engage in multiple taxations. “Multiple taxations have become a thing of the past since we came on board. We insist that people should not be harassed provided they do the right thing,” the RIRS chairman added.