President Buhari wants release of individual references to tax board

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all agencies critical to the optimal success of the Tax Identification Number, TIN initiative to give full co-operation to the Joint Tax Board, JTB by releasing relevant individual references to the board.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated this on Monday at the launch of the TIN initiative in Abuja.

He listed the agencies to include the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the National Inter-bank Settlement Systems, NIBSS, and the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC.

He said this was necessary because tax administration was built around date, requiring proper identification of eligible tax payers, whether they are individuals or corporate entities.

“Without credible and comprehensive data, an efficient tax system will simply be impossible and to function optimally, tax systems have to be aware of the important statistics, important data, the numbers of eligible individuals, the volumes of business, the volumes of economic activities, the design and strategies to take advantage of this available data are also crucial,” the Vice President said.

Professor Osinbajo said a tax identification number “is simply a vital instrument for uniquely identifying as well as registering new tax payers and to bring them into the tax bracket” and helps the National Administration System “to conveniently and efficiently access and collect information from multiple sources.” 

According to the vice president, the TIN forms the basis for projecting future revenues and for making realistic expenditure plans.

Verifiable Data Base
He said the new TIN registration system would utilize existing data from a variety of authorized identity management agencies and help build a data base that is reliable and verifiable.

The VP said that there was available data from the Corporate Affairs Commission, from the identity management systems and from the telecom companies, which is relevant for tax purposes.

“What this does is to bring all of that data together in one particular system which is our Tax Identification Number and everyone of that data is now coordinated in one. 

“The ultimate outcome is increased revenues for government and of course the ease of doing business for practically every businessman or woman, who must now be registered and who must have an identification number.

“This helps in every way to fund investments, social investments, human capital development and more.”

TIN Initiative
Osinbajo noted that TIN initiative aligned with the federal government’s strategic objectives as contained in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Buhari administration and other documents, which are meant to power along Nigeria’s economic development.

He said the system would also support government’s ease of doing business initiative.

“The increased automation of tax systems simply frees up room for businesses small and large to thrive away from the strictures of unnecessary bureaucracy and all of that. 

“This reduces the possibilities of discretion and the possibilities of petty corruption, people asking for money here and there. 

“An easy operating environment will have positive implications for corporate bottom lines as well and positive impact on tax revenues. 

“I think by all of these what we seek to achieve is really to attract business, not just international business but even more importantly local business,“ the Vice President  explained.

He commended the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board, Babatunde Fowler, all the partners and stakeholders who have made the system possible.

Continuous Innovations
He said that  the Nigerian business environment would be better for their hard work and continuous innovations.

Mr. Fowler said that the TIN initiative would change the financial profile of Nigeria.

According to him, the system would expand the tax base from 10million to 20million tax million with a potential increase to 45million taxpayers before the end of the third quarter of 2019.

Fowler also said Nigerian has recorded increase in tax revenue in recent time.

 

Confidence Okwuchi