The Chairman of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS, Babatunde Fowler says with the kind of policies put in place by government, citizens will soon reap the benefits of paying tax, which will encourage them to pay more.
Fowler, who stated this while addressing State House Correspondents, after he briefed the Federal Executive Council, noted that cases of double or multiple taxation did not exist in Nigeria.
“The Federal government, through the Vice President and the Ministry of Information has been talking about the different projects that have been financed with tax revenue and I think as Nigerians begin to see those dividends of democracy as they say, but I say of very good spending, people will be encouraged to pay more taxes.
“I would like to state once again as I have done before, that we do not really have a situation of double or multiple taxation in this country. You only have that when you pay the same tax to two tiers of government. What we had found out is that a lot of people categorise every payment to government as tax. For example if you receive a fine or penalty, they call it tax, if you pay for a parking space, they call it tax but those are things that a referred to as user charges, not taxes,” he explained.
Commenting on the Voluntary Assets declaration Scheme of government, the FIRS Chairman said the window of opportunity given to defaulters expires on June 30 and henceforth, defaulters would be prosecuted.
“The window expired on June 30th and anyone who has not come forth by now we shall use legal means to make sure that we bring them to book and make sure they pay the appropriate tax, with interest and penalty,” he said.
Fowler said he was in the State House to brief the Federal Executive Council on the exchange of information programme between Nigeria and other countries that will help reap more revenue for government.
He said: “We are ratifying the automatic exchange of information, which basically means that Nigeria as a country will be able to exchange financial information with other countries, which hopefully should improve our revenue and also ensure that all Nigerians that have investments, businesses or income abroad pay their taxes as and when due.”