By Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”CHAIRMAN of Edo State Board of Internal Revenue, Dr. Ese Owie, has appealed to the press, organized labour and other stakeholders to put pressures on the National Assembly to amend the existing tax laws in the country in line with modern and best practices.
He insisted that existing laws could be detrimental to any perceived wage increase in the country if nothing was done to amend the existing tax laws.
Speaking yesterday in Benin on The Challenges of Tax Collection in Developing Economies, a paper he presented at the on-going Edo council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Press Week, Owie noted that of the multifarious taxes in Nigeria, only four were specifically mentioned in the legislative list, includingÂ Customs Duties, Excise Duties, Export Duties and Stamp Duties.
He added that item 59 of the exclusive legislative list vested on the Federal Government the power to legislate on taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains, pursuant to which a personal income tax (Decree 104 of 1993) as amended, companies income tax, Petroleum tax and capital gains tax, have been imposed.
Dr. Owie, who was represented by Mr. Sam Aigbirio, Director, Monitoring and Evaluation Department of the Board,Â said the importance of general taxes, a major revenue source for the government, would likely increase, just as revenue enhancement would continue to be a primary goal of tax reforms as a measure to reducing budget deficit.
He stressed the need to judge revenue scheme according to its effect on economic efficiency, equity and administrative feasibility.
â€œThere is better theoretical and empirical understanding of the fiscal relations between states and citizens and how these relations may affect accountability relations.
â€œFor instance, a tax system that is complex, that is poorly understood by both the administrators and the tax payers, creates numerous opportunities for corrupt behaviour, and that involves coercion in the collection of taxes from reluctant citizens, provides a poor basis upon which to build trust between the citizens and the government,â€ he said.