Chairman, Tax Appeal Tribunal for the South East zone, Chukwuemeka Eze, has asked people and businesses with issues against tax authorities to approach the tribunal with their cases, assuring they would be adjudicated dispassionately. Eze said the tribunal was established by the Federal Ministry of Finance to deal on matters arising from taxation, and was committed to serving people without bias. Speaking at a stakeholders’ interactive forum on challenges and solutions of tax administration held in Enugu, yesterday, in partnership with the South East Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and agriculture (SECCIMA), Eze warned petitioners that the tribunal was not susceptible to inducements and would continue to treat appeals before it on their merits. He also said that the tribunal was not an extension of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). “We don’t take bribes, yes you can’t settle us. There are instances that even the government and their agencies have lost petitions brought to us,” Eze said. He regretted that for several years, Nigeria had relaxed on taxation as a source of revenue, and instead relied more on incomes from the sale of crude oil. Eze, said any serious society desirous of development must be tax conscious as it is major revenue source of income. Chairman of Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue Service, Emeka Odo said the poor hardly pay taxes, and that it is the rich that have businesses, and properties that are captured to pay taxes. “We are looking for how to increase tax net in Enugu so that more people can pay taxes,” said Eze. “If you must enjoy social services in the state, you should pay tax and obtain your Enugu State Benefit Number (ESBN). If you don’t have income, we won’t tax you, but if you have, we will tax you,” he added.
Source: The Sun