We’ve increased tax revenue by over N700bn – Fowler

Through the deployment of Information and Communications Technology, the Federal Inland Revenue Service has been able to raise tax revenue by over N700bn in the last two years.

The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, said this in Abuja on Thursday at the opening session of the 13th General Assembly of the West African Tax Administration Forum.

Fowler said through the deployment of the ICT equipment, the agency had been able to fast-track tax payment compliance.

He noted that the use of Information Technology had enabled the FIRS to simplify tax administration as four million fresh taxpayers had been added to the tax database between 2016 and 2017.

Fowler said, “In Nigeria, we have in the past two years taken the route of increasing the use of the ICT in facilitating taxpayers’ compliance and introduced initiatives to improve inter-agency collaboration, all with a view to enhancing tax administration and reduce tax revenue leakages.

“Our efforts in this regard has made an impact and contributed to an increase in the taxpayers’ roll by an additional four million taxpayers and an increase of over N700bn in tax revenues in 2017, above the taxes collected in 2016.”

He called on other countries in the sub-region that made up the WATAF to embrace the use of the ICT tools in their tax administration processes.

This, he noted, would help to check the issue of tax evasion and abuse of the tax administration processes.

The FIRS boss added, “It is pertinent that tax administrators in West Africa re-strategise if they are to live up to their mandate. One of the viable means is by implementing initiatives to tackle tax abuses.

“While the dynamics of tax administration might vary amongst countries within the West Africa sub-region, the challenges of tax evasion and avoidance schemes are similar.”

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