Oyo begins tax collection with mobile app

By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Oyo State government says it has concluded plans to begin the collection of informal sector tax with the use of mobile apps.

It said the annual collection of tax, especially among traders in markets and artisans takes immediate effect.

The Executive Chairman, Oyo State Internal Revenue Service, OYSIRS, John Adeleke made the disclosure during a sensitisation tour and meeting of market leaders from 14 major markets across Ibadan, at the Ogunpa market, Ibadan North West Local Government, Ogunpa, Ibadan.

Some of the markets whose leaders were present at the meeting are, Eleyele market, Ifeleye market, Dugbe market and Agbaje market, amongst others.

Adeleke said; ”the meeting is imperative in view of the need to encourage traders, artisans, shop owners and market men and women, among others to continue to be awake to their civic responsibilities as a way of supporting the government.”

Represented by the Director of Other Taxes, Mr Idowu Alao, the Internal Revenue Service Boss said the government has refused to increase the tax payable by the traders, market men and women, artisans, shop owners and all others operating in the informal sector because of its understanding of the current economic situation.

He assured the traders that the government is doing a lot to ensure business prosperity and economic development in the State, stressing that in no distant time, the effects would translate to improved sales, which would be felt by the traders.

Educating the traders on the new modalities being deployed for the new tax collection regime, the State Tax Manager in charge of Informal Sector, Mrs Yetunde Awotona said government has not collected any tax from the traders since January, but has now perfected a means of well-coordinated approach through the use of tax agents, with the aid of tax collection application pre-installed on their mobile phones.

She explained that, the traders and people in the informal sector have been cooperative over the years in the payment of taxes but that the OYSIRS deemed it fit to embark on the approach as a means of strengthening the bond of cooperation between the government and the operators in the informal sector.

Awotona stressed that the new modality would also entail the use of tax agent offices located inside the various markets across the State to make tax payment easier and more convenient for the traders.

She assured the traders that the technological innovation was introduced into tax collection as an improvement on the initial complaints of the people and to have a better coordinated and seamless approach to ensure that all tax paid get to the government coffers.

In their separate remarks during the meeting, the traders appealed to Governor Makinde to give them a tax waiver for the remaining months of the year, as they assured the government of their cooperation and support in the payment of taxes and environmental management.

The high point of the meeting was the display of the Point of Sales (POS) machines and other equipment that would be deployed for tax collection through the use of ATM cards.

The traders also used the opportunity of the meeting to ask various questions to which the officials of the revenue service provided satisfactory responses.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere