The Chartered Institute Of Taxation Of Nigeria (CITN), Abakaliki and District Society has said there is a need to address the issues of multiple taxation on the taxpayers amidst the hardship caused by the removal of fuel subsidies by the Nigerian Government.
This was made known by members of the Abakaliki and District Society during their 2023 enlightenment week to educate the people about their rights and responsibilities regarding taxes.
The chairman of the District, Dr Justina Nnachi said it has become necessary to enlighten the tax payers on the benefits of paying their taxes to encourage them while noting the effort of the Institute in harmonizing the issues of multiple taxation.
“The Federal Government has promised us better things and we are hopeful, and we know if things are better, people will pay their taxes. Taxes are paid from income earned. If people earn their income under conducive and friendly government policies and environment people will happily pay their taxes.
“To a large extend we are working assiduously to curb the issues of multiple taxations. Taxes should be streamlined so that the taxpayers don’t feel the burden of paying one tax various times”.
She commended the effects of the ongoing enlightenment campaign and the compliance of the taxpayers that have generated over 5.5 Trillion naira for the FIRS.
“The enlightenment is ongoing and I believe people are waking up to their responsibilities. So far, the FIRS has collected over 5.5 trillion naira during the first quarter, meaning the taxpayers are complying in their responsibilities.” she added.
Barr. George Ukpai, who is the pioneer and immediate past chairman of the CITN, Abakaliki and District Society and the Current South East Chairman, said the Institute is currently grappling with the issues of multiple taxation. He noted that the Federal Government has set up a committee to harmonize taxes paid by investors as well as well other classes of taxpayers .
“Presently we have not less than fifty-two different types of taxes being collected in the country and it is expected that it would be harmonized to about ten.
“why it is necessary is that it would help improve investment climate, make investment environment smooth and friendly to investors. Yes we agree that the essence of taxation is to generate revenue to support the government, but you do not tax businesses out of existence,” Ukpai said.
He emphasized that taxes should be duly regulated to enable the taxpayers to achieve voluntary compliance and devoid of brigandage and violence. He called for a fiscal policy review that will provide cushion the effects of the removal of the fuel subsidy and grant targeted tax incentives to the tax paying public.
Speaking further, Mr Joseph Ugbor, the former Chairman of the Ebonyi State Internal Revenue Board, said there is need for appropriate tax education to enable taxpayers to know the impact of their taxe money in the society.
“If the people are well informed to know about their rights and responsibilities, they will pay taxes without violent approach, and the government will not have to spend money to prosecute people to make them pay”. he added