FIRS, Others Share Data of High Income Earners

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The Joint Tax Board (JTB) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have started sharing data of high net worth individuals to profile income earners and taxpayers and get them to pay appropriate taxes.

Twelve states have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).

The JTB also announced yesterday that it had hired a consultant to ensure that the databases of states’ tax authorities and the FIRS speak to each other.

The integration of data will help data sharing among states, improve compliance and tax revenue.

Executive Chairman of FIRS and JTB, Mr. Tunde Fowler, announced the MoU with states on VAIDS in Abuja at JTB’s 138th meeting.

He said the integration of data among states between FIRS and JTB would help to identify high net-worth individuals, track their tax status and compliance. He announced that there are no untouchables as regards the implementation of VAIDS

Fowler said that the Federal Government has demonstrated an uncommon political will to entrench tax compliance in Nigeria, saying issues of taxation are taking a centre stage in the country.

”Speaking on behalf of the FIRS and the JTB, I want to assure you that we have received the blessing and political will of Mr. President, the Acting President to implement VAIDS.

”The Executive is behind us, the Senate, the House of Reps, are behind us and the Judiciary is behind us. The government is behind us. It is now left for us to perform our duties in the right and best way.

”A lot of special things are happening to the country. We are changing the financial profile of the country and of course, taxation is in the forefront. I can’t recall any time in the past when we had had such integration and cooperation. Our vision is to ensure that the governments, at all levels have enough resources to provide essential facilities to everyone. We are also moving away from taxes based solely on oil—that are not predictable to non-oil taxes”.

‘I am Happy to announce that at no time in the history of the FIRS have states and JTB have enjoyed this level of collaboration that we are enjoying today. Collaboration is important. States cannot be said to be doing well if the FIRS is not doing well.  In the same vein, FIRS cannot be said to be doing well if states are not doing well.

”Between 25th and 29th September 2017, the African Tax Administration Forum, ATAF will be meeting in Abuja. Leaders of tax authorities will be in attendance. Many will come with their ministers. We believe that collaboration between heads of tax authorities and Ministers of Finance is healthy for tax work. We will encourage them to come.

”In the same vein, we expect that all of you (Chairmen of State Internal Revenue Services) will be in attendance and at least one other person—possibly your commissioner of Finance.

At the enlarged meeting of the JTB, convened mainly to discuss stakeholders’ implementation of VAIDS, the body ratified the election Chief Oseni Elamah, former Chairman of Edo State Board of Internal Revenue, as the new Executive Secretary of JTB.

Mr. Elamah takes over from Mr. Mohammed Lawal Abubakar, a Director with the FIRS, who has led the JTB Secretariat for seven years.

Fowler thanked the JTB members for their activities on the Tax Thursday and further urged them to put more efforts in observing the weekly tax education programme.


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