By Onozure Dania
Chartered Insti tute of Taxation Nigeria (CITN), as parts of its awareness and sensitisation programme, has called for the introduction of taxation, as a course in higher institutions across the country.
Speaking at one day seminar in Lagos, organised by Lagos District Society, last week, Mr. Suleiman Shittu, Chairman, Students Affair and Examination Committee, stressed the importance of the need for higher institutions in Nigeria to take interest in taxation issues as this will help in the countryâ€™s drive towards boosting its internally generated revenue.
He said, â€œTaxation is the process of collecting taxes within a particular location. in this regard, tax has been defined as a monetary charge imposed by the government on persons, entities, transactions or properties to yield revenue.
It has also been defined as the enforced proportional contributions from persons and property, levied by the state by virtue of its sovereignty for the support of government and for all public needs.
â€œTaxes may also be defined as a pecuniary burden laid upon individuals or property to support government expenditure.â€
Shittu explained to the audience consisting mainly of students from Yaba College of Technology, that tax policy is submitted to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and that Nigeriaâ€™s law provides a statutory role for professional bodies in the tax system .
He added that the Chartered Institute of Taxation Act provides powers to the CITN to amongst other things determined standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by tax practitioners, the establishment and maintenance of a register of its members and the regulation and control of tax practice.
â€œIt is therefore expected that the CITN shall exercise its powers to enhance tax practice in Nigeria and for the overall benefit of the tax system,â€ he noted
Shittu said that the primary function of taxation is to raise revenue to finance government expenditures among others
According to him, a major challenge in tax practice is the issue of professionalism. â€œA profession as a type of job that needs special training or skill, especially one that needs a high level of education. professionalism is adhering strictly to ethics of the profession. He added.
He continued, â€œThe Nigerian taxationÂ system is deficient in quality manpower, as a number of those who discharge tax services are not thoroughly trained.Â The low level of tax education among the populace has made voluntary compliance quite difficult, hence the need for a regulatory body for tax practice and the use of professionals.
â€œTaxation became recognised as a body of knowledge distinct from accountancy, which every individual and corporate body must take seriously.Â As a profession, it is note worthy that in Nigeria today experts in these field are members of chartered institute of taxation of Nigeria (CITN).