Governments at all levels have been urged to block all channels of tax leakages including avoidance, evasion, and corruption, through strict enforcement of tax laws. A Development Consultant Kolawole Banwo made the call at a meeting on the ‘Tax Justice and Breaking Barrier Project of ActionAid Nigeria organized by Rural Women and Youth Development in Sokoto.
“Tax evasion is synonymous with tax fraud”, he asserted. Banwo noted poor inter-agency collaboration, inadequate data of taxpayer, corrupt tax revenue collection and dependence on human agents, conflict of interest, and political interference in tax administration and predominance of cash-based economy, as among drivers of tax evasion. Others, he said, included inadequate regulations, weak institutions, complex tax computation process, weak regulation of the financial services sector and unethical conduct of facilitating professionals. The Consultant also called for the amendment of relevant tax laws and policies to reflect current realities, the introduction of automation of tax system, employment of ICT to reduce human involvement in the tax collection as well as streamlining and democratization of the process of granting incentives. He stressed the need to acquire and regularly update taxpayers’ data, publish details of all legitimate taxes and relevant authorities and circulate widely, professionalize, train, re-train and adequately remunerate officials and staff of revenue authority and establish an effective grievance mechanism for complaints to resolve of Taxpayers’ issues. Banwo urged the harmonization of Tax Identification Number (TIN) with the FIRS and promote cashless transactions.
Source: Daily Trust