Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)

Participants at the just concluded 48th Annual Accountant Conference in Abuja have called on the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to sanction all the Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that fail to remit their taxes to serve as a deterrent to others.

Razak Jaiyeola, the 54th President of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN), disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Lagos on Thursday on the conclusions and recommendations reached at the end of conference.

Jaiyeola said participants at the conference with the theme, “Securing our shared future: A collective responsibility,” advised tax administrators to collaborate and engage more with the taxpayers to bridge the information gap in order to promote voluntary compliance.

He said that participants at the conference further recommended that the issue of multiplicity of taxes should be addressed expeditiously in the long term interest of businesses.

“Although the participants agreed that the tax payers, tax administrators and tax consultants should collaborate to achieve the goal of driving development through tax revenue, the participants noted that there cannot be tax justice when those with governance responsibilities do not pay and remit their taxes as and when due to the FIRS,” he said.

The participants while commending the trend towards the adoption of technology by FIRS, urged the revenue agency to appraise the outcome and impact of its various initiatives in order to properly situate its actual performance.

Jaiyeola further stated that participants urged the FIRS to address the complaints about the down time often experienced by users of the various IT platforms and the slow process of seeking justice for incorrect tax assessment.

They further recommended that FIRS should leverage Block chain and Bitcoin technology to enhance tax collection as a lot of businesses were being done through these IT instruments.

He, however, said the participants noted with dismay the un-dynamic nature of tax laws in the country in these days of rapid changes in technology and business models.

He said that allusion was made to the archaic Stamp Duty Act of 1939 and other related laws which were enacted when electronic transactions were unknown, as participants urged the government to amend this and other laws as part of its strategies of improving the Ease of Doing Business Ranking of the country.

“The ICAN enjoined FIRS to revisit the huge withholding tax credits which tax payers are finding difficult to access to settle their tax liabilities,” he stated.

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