By Michael Eboh
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has called on States internal revenue services to conduct a thorough investigation on their governors with the aim of locating other sources of their income so that they can be taxed accordingly.
Speaking during the launch of a public sensitisation campaign on new developments in Nigeriaâ€™s tax matters, Mrs. Olajumoke Simplice, Head, Channels Management of the Co-operate Communications Department of the FIRS, noted that this is in view of the fact that majority of the state governors hide under the tax immunity granted them to avoid paying taxes on their other sources of income.
She said, â€œIt is a none fact that the salaries of state governors are not taxed, that is a privilege they enjoy. However, a number of them use this opportunity to dodge paying taxes on their other incomes. The onus now lies on states revenue boards to locate other sources of their governors revenue, with the aim of imposing the necessary taxes on such incomes.â€
She noted that the FIRS has commenced a campaign with the aim of sensitising the Nigerian populace on the need to pay their taxes and to always do so through the proper channels.
â€œThe time has come for a re-orientation for both the tax officers and tax payers. We want the tax payers to comply with voluntarily taxpaying. We want Nigerians to forget the era of relying too much on oil revenue. We want to develop taxation as a pivot of development in Nigeriaâ€, Olajumoke said.
Mrs Olajumoke, who represented the Chairman of FIRS Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, disclosed thatÂ the agency has decided to introduce a Tax Identification Number (TIN), to enable easy payment of tax by individuals and corporate bodies as well as transaction purposes.
She noted that the Tax Identification Number (TIN) is free to all individual and will be recorded against their Personal Identification Number (PIN) for easy record purposes in the processing of their tax clearance certificate.
She, however, urged Nigerians not to patronise any touts to obtain tax clearance certificates as it may get them into trouble.
She said, â€œThe Tax Identification Number is free and can be obtained from any FIRS office all over the country within two weeks of application. We are determined to take the issue of tax payment seriously and we will not tolerate tax evaders anymore.
In fact, The FIRS and states revenue services has decided to face tax evaders frontally. Tax evasion is a crime, it is wrong to subscribe to fake tax clearance certificate as it is also tax evasionâ€
Also speaking at the event the Managing Director, LTC Advertising, Mr. Victor Edegbe , said that the core messages is to educate and reawaken Nigerians on the need to take the issue of tax payment seriously and to see it as pivotal for national development.