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National Tax policy guidelines and rules (7)

State Governors would be expected to ensure co-operation among State Boards of Internal Revenue, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigeria Customs Service and other revenue agencies for the development of the Nigerian tax system in areas such as information sharing, improved structure and efficiency in tax administration, elimination of multiple taxation and adoption of a nationwide Unique Taxpayer Identification Numbering (U-TIN) system.

Federal Executive Council in general and the Federal Ministries of Finance, Education and Information in Particular  The Federal Executive Council (FEC) is the highest Federal level decision making body in Nigeria and is responsible for decisions, which impact all levels of Government in Nigeria.

In addition, the Minister of Finance who exercises oversight functions on tax and fiscal issues is a member of the FEC. In this regard, the FEC shall be responsible for approving all matters, which will ensure effective oversight of tax policy and administration.

The FEC would be expected to give necessary direction to other levels and tiers of Government in this respect as may be relevant. Tax and fiscal matters shall be treated with priority, given the important role they play in the economic and national development of the country.

The executive arm of Government is responsible for encouraging voluntary compliance by taxpayers. An effective mechanism for achieving high compliance is by leading by example as well as by making the most efficient use of the tax revenue collected by the Government.

Accordingly, all members of the FEC shall on an annual basis ensure that they fully disclose all sources of income and ensure the right taxes are computed culminating in the publication of their tax clearance certificate by the 30th of June annually.

The FEC shall in addition ensure in all of its decisions and actions that tax revenue is judiciously allocated and utilised for the benefit of the entire citizenry. The FEC shall also ensure that on a monthly basis taxpayers are informed of the use to which tax monies are being applied.

In this wise, the FEC shall ensure that matters of taxation and revenue generation in general form an intrinsic part of the deliberations and decisions around the annual appropriation budget as well as in discussions at the Federal Executive Council meetings on at least a quarterly basis.

The FEC shall co-operate with the Legislature in initiating legislation on tax matters and shall provide the necessary approvals required to speedily implement legislation, which is passed by the Legislature. The FEC shall also ensure a cordial relationship with the Judiciary and that the independence and integrity of the Judiciary is maintained at all times.

There shall be cooperation amongst all the members of the FEC in relation to tax and fiscal matters especially with regard to information sharing.  All Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies are required to provide and share all information that would assist in the accurate assessment and collection of the relevant taxes.

This would include amongst others: Having a revenue generation (as distinct from an expenditure) mindset. Strict implementation of tax laws including overt and explicit support through referrals of major cases to tax authorities (Federal and State) on a continuous basis and integration of tax “psyche” in the day to day business of
government: Ensuring proper assessment, collection and prompt remittance of taxes to designated government accounts; Ensuring fiscal compliance of every person that they deal with;

* Ensuring that every database maintained in government has a compulsory field for the inclusion of the unique taxpayer identification number for every company, enterprise, individual and other registered organisation

*Use of e-payment systems in all transactions inclusive of direct remittance to the accounts of the tax authorities;Use of technology and related systems in the way business is done – e.g. electronic cash registers, automated land registries, etc and linkage of databases and such systems maintained in government to that Federal and State tax authority databases

* Ensuring tax is a major consideration in the evaluation process of individuals and organisations such that the lack of payment of taxes is seen as an affront on government and a crime.

*Ensuring that all Tax Clearance Certificates and other tax documents used in government transactions are referred back to the relevant revenue authority for authentication.

*Have primary responsibility for tax policy matters, including initiating proposals for amendments to tax laws by the National Assembly.

*The FMF shall coordinate all requests from other Federal Ministries and Agencies relating to fiscal issues as would ensure harmonisation of the fiscal policy issues of government. In this regard, no other Federal Ministry or Government agency shall have the right to commit government through the signing of agreements, writing of letters, or other communication regarding fiscal policy issues without the authority or consent of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

* The FMF and the relevant Government agency, which will administer the tax, shall seek recommendations from the relevant stakeholders to ensure that enactments are regularly reviewed and substantially meet the principles of good taxation and the objectives of Nigeria’s tax system as stated in this document.

* The FMF shall partner with the State Ministries of Finance and other State and Local Government agencies to ensure the development of Nigeria’s tax system and a tax culture amongst Nigerian citizens.

* The FMF shall in this role, work closely with the Federal inland Revenue Service, the Joint Tax Board and the Nigeria Customs Service (in the case of import and excise duties) who have secondary responsibilities to support the FMF on all tax policy issues affecting the country.

* The FMF shall support the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Customs Service (in the case of duties) on all tax administration matters as would complement the efforts of those agencies. Such support shall cover amongst others:

*Ensuring that taxpayers monies collected are effectively accounted for and judiciously utilised

*Communicating to the tax payer the use to which tax payer monies are being put

*Demonstrating in action and words that the taxpayer is a priority of government and is well appreciated

The Federal Ministry of Education (FME)

Shall provide support to the Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in developing a tax culture amongst Nigerians. The Ministry through its relevant organs shall be responsible for ensuring the inclusion of taxation in the curricula of Nigerian educational institutions from primary to tertiary institutions based on a cradle to grave concept.

The Federal Ministry of Information (FMI)

Shall provide support to the Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in carrying out public enlightenment campaigns on tax and revenue matters affecting the country. It shall support the process of providing accurate and timely information flow to Nigerians on all tax and revenue matters decided at the Federal Executive level.

In this regard, it shall co-operate with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities to obtain the required information for dissemination to the public.

The SEC shall co-operate with the State Houses of Assembly in initiating legislation on tax and revenue matters, which are within the jurisdiction of the State Houses of Assembly and also provide the necessary approvals required to implement legislation, which is passed by the House of Assembly.

The SEC shall ensure a cordial relationship with the Judiciary and that the independence and integrity of the Judiciary is maintained at all times. There shall be cooperation amongst all the members of the SEC in relation to revenue matters.

State Executive Council in general and the Ministries of Finance, Education and Information in particular

The State Executive Council (SEC) shall playa role similar to that of the Federal Executive Council as the highest decision making body at State level. In this regard, it shall be responsible for approving all matters pertaining to policy development as well as the implementation and enforcement of taxes at State and Local Government level.

It is also expected to give the necessary leadership and direction to Local Governments in respect of revenue generation matters. Tax and revenue matters shall be treated with .•. priority, given the important role they play in the economic development of the States.


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