PORT HARCOURT – RIVERS State Government will starting August 1st, roll out rates and modalities for remittance of emergent informal sector taxes aimed at artisans, trade and professionals across the state.
The rates, in seven categories, were adopted by the Rivers Internal Revenue Service, RIRS, from recommendations of an Informal Sector Tax Stakeholders Committee made of representatives of the prospective taxpayers.
Uba Obasi, Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Rivers chapter who heads the committee said at the presentation of their recommendations in Port Harcourt yesterday that they aggregated inputs from various consultative meetings stakeholders held with RIRS to come up with the rates and processes.
Executive Chairman, RIRS, Adoage Norteh, said, “We will publish the categories and rates to be paid, so people would know. We will not flood the space with consultants, agents, by whatever name they come because is if we do, we let the system loose for touts to operate.
“This is presumptive tax as we not able to determine income of each person in the informal sector, so rates have been determined looking at the structures, sizes of trade groups and all that.
“It is assuring that that the committee’s recommendations adequately represented the true view of the taxpayers with everyone carried along. That is what we, RIRS, wanted.
“We can’t have a perfect system. As we go on we can make adjustments where the need arises and inform the taxpayers accordingly, but we hope as of now we have arrived at a seamless process that can help all of us eliminate touting.”
On modalities for collection of the informal sector tax, Adoage said, “Our process is demand notice. No cash payments. If any taxman or anybody come to you demanding cash, please contact law enforcement agency to arrest that person”
“We don’t want the tax atmosphere to be chaotic. We want to be able to differentiate a tax administrator from a tout, a tax evader from a complier. We want a system that works and acceptable to all, otherwise we could have just fixed rates and go out.
Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture, represented by Clement Akanibor on the stakeholders committee noted that the RIRS has by its wide consultation taken care of the challenges of double taxation and touting in this tax type.
Other trade and artisan groups represented in the Committee include Pillar of Associations, National Association of Small Scale Industries and Rivers Drivers Cooperative Union.