Tax administrators have been urged to create intelligence units to monitor the activities of the affluent to ensure that they pay their taxes.
Mr Agbeluyi Olushola, Chairman, Ikeja District Society of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, made the call, Wednesday, in an interview in Lagos.
He explained that the move would ensure that the well-to-do in the society were captured in the nation’s tax system.
He noted that the intelligence units should be manned by experts, who would regularly monitor the activities of the rich in the society and ensure they were appropriately taxed. Olushola noted that most wealthy Nigerians have the culture of evading tax and hiding under the influence of political fathers.
The chairman said that the development was unhealthy for the nation’s economy. “They are the easiest to bring, its’ just the political will; you can do what is called profiling. The tax agencies are supposed to have intelligence units. You zero in on some people to collect taxes. Ordinarily, nobody will willingly want to go and pay tax. So, sometimes you need to profile these people.
“You look at somebody, who rented Tafawa Balewa Square for the wedding of the son and the second leg of that wedding is taking place in Dubai. You just put the name on the system, how much has this man paid in the past five years, possibly N500, 000; there is no relation between N500, 000 and what that person spent.
“So, it is easy, but you discover that, possibly, this man donated some amount of money to the campaign programme of the person in power, so the political will is not there. I think changes, when they come, they become inevitable. The way Nigeria is going, the time for change is near, it may not be in the next two, three, five years, but the time for change has come.”
Olushola also urged revenue agencies to develop the political will to ensure the prosecution of tax evaders.