By Nwogha Ndubuisi, Abakaliki
The Chartered Institute of Taxation Nigeria (CITN), Abakaliki and District Society has explained the need to address the issue of multiple taxation amidst the removal of fuel subsidy in the country.
This was made known by members of the Abakaliki and District Society during their 2023 enlightenment week to educate Ebonyians of their rights and responsibilities regarding taxes payment.
Consequently, the District Chairman, Dr. Justina Nnachi noted that it has become necessary to enlighten citizens on the benefits of paying their taxes to encourage them while noting the effort of the Institute in harmonizing the issues of multiple taxation.
According to her, “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”.
The District Chairman highlighted the effects of the ongoing enlightenment campaign and appreciated the compliance of the taxpayers that have generated over 5.5 Trillion naira for the FIRS at the quarter of the year.
“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.
On his part, the pioneer and immediate past Chairman of CITN, Abakaliki and District Society who’s currently South East chairman, Barr George Ukpai hinted that the Institute is currently grappling with the issues of multiple taxation.
Ukpai noted that the Federal Government has set up a committee to harmonize taxes paid by investors as well as well other classes of taxes as to ameliorate plights of Nigerians.
“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 would help 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 taxes in societal development.
“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” Ugbor explained.