How to raise tax management, by FIRS
THE Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), has identified voluntary compliance and stakeholders’ collaboration as major factors that would strengthen tax administration in Nigeria, as well as eliminate bottlenecks and conflict areas from the system.
The Acting Executive Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, who spoke on “FIRS’s Proposal for achieving operational efficiency in managing taxpayers” at the Tax Breakfast Meeting and Launch of the Tax Risk Management Survey Report organised by KPMG in Lagos, noted that FIRS is currently engaging stakeholders in the ecosystem so as to effectively achieve operational efficiency in the sector.
“Voluntary compliance is the best approach for achieving operational efficiency and effectively managing taxpayers and our efforts are aimed at creating a system which ensures that the cost of non-compliance is far higher than that of voluntary compliance
“We will therefore continue to collaborate and engage with stakeholders so that our message of voluntary compliance as the first line approach for managing taxpayers is understood and internalized by tax consultants, taxpayers and all other stakeholders.”
He pointed out that the challenge in the sector cannot be addressed by tax authority alone, noting that it must involve collective efforts to tackle the problem.
He disclosed that FIRS has planned series of strategies geared towards engaging stakeholders so as to find a way forward for the sector and boost the country’s economy in the face of struggling economy.
Fowler stated that the tax authority was working on “Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS), which will automate core tax administration processes”.
Going forward, fowler maintained that there would be greater emphasis on the role of the tax consultants in ensuring compliance by their clients.
To facilitate compliance, the FIRS boss explained that the organisation have written letters to the major firms, including KPMG in order to identify some of their non-compliant clients.
“KPMG has acted commendably in this regard as a number of its clients have filed returns after we sent out the letter. We urge you to ensure that the rest file their returns before the month end FIRS will adopt a reward and recognition approach for high level of compliance by clients of any consultant, while we will not hesitate to name and shame non-compliant clients.
“We must remember that our efforts in ensuring tax compliance, whether as consultants, taxpayers or tax authorities are all part of our contribution to developing Nigeria. The effect of the fall in crude prices has reflected in revenue accruable to the Government and projections do not indicate that there will be an upward change in the near future.”