Institute advocates incentives to conform with tax laws

Franca Ofili

Abuja –   The President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Mr Cyril Ede, said tax incentives should conform with the provision of the relevant tax laws in the country to avoid arbitrary action.

Ede made the appeal in Abuja on Thursday at the 2017 Tax Week with the theme: “ The Impact of Tax Incentives in Attracting Investment in Nigeria Economy.’’

“There must be sufficient basis for granting tax incentives in the first place.

“We agree that tax incentives are capable of attracting investment, but we should be able to look at the larger picture such that we are not worse off as a country at the end of the day,’’ he said.

Ede said information was key in promoting transparency and building investors confidence in the Nigerian economy.

He said the institute offered some recommendations to the proposals for extended tax holidays and restriction of claim of investment allowance as it presently obtained in the tax law.

Ede said the week was to sensitise Nigerians to the need to pay tax.

Mr Babatunde Fowler, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, said the only way to sustain the economy was revenue coming from taxation.

Fowler said the tax administrators were not exploring all the necessary avenues for tax collection in the country.

He said that strategies would be put in place to ensure that all Nigerians paid their tax properly.

Mr Benhamin Ogbeide, Chairman of the institute, Abuja branch, said the members had a sensitisation work to educate the public on the importance of tax to the economy.

Ogbeide said the theme became necessary due to the recent government tax holidays granted to companies in certain industries.

“This will help to facilitate industrialisation in the country and also increase employment as many investors, local and foreign, are using the opportunity to invest in the country,’’ he said.

Mr Yomi Olugbenro, from Tax and Regulatory Services, said the level of tax compliance in the country was low.

Olugbenro said this during paper presentation on “the Automatic Exchange of Information- implication for Nigeria’’.

He said the challenges and constraints in tax revenue were not providing credible, veritable and sufficient evidence and sustaining compliance.

Olugbenro said “ it is only when Nigerians starts paying the right tax, then they will be able to demand for accountability’’.

“The Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme is to sensitise the tax payers who have not paid tax or who have been underpaying taxes to use the opportunity to declare their incomes and assets and pay correct taxes.

“The scheme will eliminate penalties; interest and sanctions awaiting defaulters who are expected to comply within the time given,’’ he said.

Awards were presented to the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Prof. Stephen Ocheni and Mrs Ruth Arokoyo, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigerian. (NAN)

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