By Yinka Kolawole
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has concluded arrangements to ensure the judicious use of public funds by public officers and also make the officers accountable for their stewardship to the country.
It also debunks claims of the existence of multiplicity of taxes in the Nigerian tax system. 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 the decision to promote accountability among public officers was borne out of the need to stem the tide of corruption, ensure development and transparency in government spendings.
She said, â€œWe are going to have programmes where we will have interactive programmes with public officers and the general public. This is expected to hold on major media stations and it will also be a phone-in programme. The public officers will be expected to tell the public what they are doing, their achievements in office, and people will have the opportunity to ask questions.
â€œWe are going to encourage them to account for what they are doing, this is because it is expected that they should be able to be proud of what they are doing as a minister or an officer of the federal government. They should be proud of their achievements and should be proud to talk about it. They should be free to talk about it to the public and this will make them accountable, because they will be expected to continuously perform better in the discharge of their duties.â€
On the issue of multiplicity of taxes, Simplice noted that the countryâ€™s tax law is well structured to avoid incidences of multiple taxation, noting that such issue arises when individuals choose to enjoy certain services that attract special taxes.
According to her, for an individual to avoid the incidence of paying for more than tax, such individuals should avoid the use of certain luxurious and taxable services.
â€œAs far as the Nigerian tax system is concerned, there is nothing like multiple taxation. The FIRS does not collect taxes that are meant for States internal revenue services and vice versa. There is also a clear demarcation of the various taxes to be paid to either the states or the federal government.
â€œSome examples of such taxes are Value Added Tax (VAT), Withholding taxes, local government levies, among others and such taxes are imposed in a situation where an individual wants to enjoy certain taxable services or commodity or want to patronise establishment of luxury, like hotels, eateries among others.â€œFor one to avoid paying such taxes, one will have to refrain from enjoying such taxable services.â€