By Dayo Adesulu
First female Professor of Taxation in Nigeria, Mrs. Olateju Somorin has urged the local, state and federal governments not to neglect in discharging their duties to the tax payers, adding that the tax payers have their rights also.
Somorin who spoke in Lagos while delivering the 4th Inaugural Lecture at the Caleb University on: ‘Taxpayers: Voices, Disconnect and Tax Compliance’ said: ”Don’t neglect the taxpayers, adding that if they are neglected you wont find the tax payers.”
According to her, if the tax payers are neglected, you would not be able to access them to pay their taxes, if they are not accessible, the tax collectors cannot collect the tax, if they don’t collect the tax, the tax cannot get to government treasury, and if it doesn’t get to government treasury, there won’t be any money to spend.
She explained that many citizens are not paying their taxes because they think the government is not listening to them and too far away from them.
She, however posited that the common man would enjoy better services when there is an increase in revenue generated to government, adding that government would have enough money to do what it suppose to do for the citizenry.
Reacting to the federal government intention to increase VAT from 5% to 7.5% in 2020, Somorin said increment in taxation would bring enough fund for public services, like maintenance of roads, hospital and schools to mention a few.
She said: ”It is VAT, it is not company income tax, it is not personal income tax. VAT is consumption base, it is only when you consume that you pay. If you don’t want to pay it, don’t consume the products.”