Be Strategic with New Taxes, ACFE Charges Govt

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), Lagos State chapter, has urged federal government to be strategic about imposing new and increasing existing tax rates. The association bared its mind on the tax environment during a training session it organised for ACFE members and non members in Lagos recently. Speaking during the training, President of the Association, Prof. Godwin Oyedokun, stated that a complex tax regime would scare away investors and further lure them to seek means of evading tax payment. He added that rather than increasing taxes, government should widen the tax net such that would accommodate more taxpayers. Making reference to the proposed 7.5 Value Added Tax (VAT), increment, he noted that in effect, quite a lot would resort to making open market purchases and avoid structured and formal markets like Shoprite, which on the other hand, would rub off negatively on the buttom line of formal retail outlets. He said that VAT increment would also affect consumption level, disposable income and cost of doing business. Oyedokun also cautioned government to thread softly in introducing punitive measures to aid tax compliance. According to him,”This in most cases is always counter productive as it gives room for undue negotiations and compromises from both tax payer and tax authority respectively. While I am not completely against penalty, I would say that the authority should use it selectively and also apply palliative measures before adapting it.” The 2nd Vice President of the association, Dr. Titilayo Fowokan, added that government could resort to moral persuasion and tax education instead of enforcing penalties. She said: “There should be tax justice such that tax payers can see the dividends of their efforts and be willing to pay more without being forced or pushed. Government should also strive to create an enabling environment that would make companies to generate employment. Once jobs are paid, income will be generated and more taxes will be paid”. Fowokan also explained the essence of the training to update members on latest fraud technology and trends in tax environment to enable them know how to deal with it.


Source: This day