FG pushes for 20% tax for GDP ratio.

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The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has revealed that Federal Government was planning to achieve a 20 per cent tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio for the economy.

The CITN President, Olateju Somorin, at the 33rd induction ceremony of the institute in Lagos, said achieving this, would require that tax administrators and professionals to navigate the tax laws on behalf of tax clients to ensure equity and fairness in its application and compliance.

She said the task falls on professionals who must continually update and display the requisite skill set in order to offer top notch services to their clients and the general public.

Somorin said the institute, on its part, recognises the need for continuous provision of a strong manpower base for the tax system and would contribute its fair share in this regard.
“It is pertinent to emphasise the place of taxation in national development at this juncture. This has become even more imperative in the face of falling crude oil prices and underperforming budgets as a result of paucity of funds from federal allocations. At the federal and state government level, there have been increased activities geared towards increasing internally generated revenue with different strategies being employed,” she said.
The CITN boss said while some states have given effect to the institute’s call for autonomy for revenue administration, others attempt to resort to self-help by making summary pronouncements on what tax payers should pay.                                                                                   “For the avoidance of doubt, imposition of taxes is based on assessments, as is the convention with tax laws. These assessments provide the basis for arriving at the taxes being demanded. This makes for a better understanding and position of trust between the taxpayer and tax administrator. Let me equally reiterate our call that only tax professionals should head and administer agencies charged with revenue generation, especially at the Federal and States Boards of Internal Revenue,” she said.
“Only people possessing the right skills in taxation should do the job. This has become necessary if government is to be taken seriously in addressing the issue of low tax compliance and increased revenue generation,” she noted.
She pointed out that, “We recognise that as an institute, we do not possess compulsive powers to make government tow this line. However, we will continue to make our voice heard at every opportunity to drive home the message of professionalism.”
Somorin explained that as part of the mandate of the institute to standardise taxation practice in the country, the Nigeria Taxation Standard Board (NTSB) was inaugurated with the mandate to, amongst others, ensure standardisation of taxation practice and administration in Nigeria by narrowing down areas of differences in the treatment of tax matters.
“In accordance with our institute’s resolve to carry out its mandate with integrity and service, I find it very useful and appropriate here today to inform you that our institute, as a professional body, does not condone any form of unprofessional behaviour or unethical practice among its members,” she stressed.
This, according to her, is a statutory responsibility to which all of us subscribe, stating that just as a violation of the law in the larger society always invariably attracts commensurate sanctions, so is non-compliance with the provisions of the institute’s Code of Conduct.

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