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Digital economy is new gold of revenue generation — Fowler

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Fowler, recession, VAT, FIRS
Babatunde Fowler

Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has described the digital space as the new gold in revenue generation in the country.

Fowler said this in his opening remarks at the third annual Nigeria Tax Research Network conference which held at the FIRS Training School in Durumi, Abuja. The conference is themed: Revenue Challenges Online and Offline: Bridging the Digital Divide in an Analogue Economy.

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According to the FIRS boss, it is important that the service improves its capacity in the taxation of economic activities within the digital space.

Towards this, Fowler said the FIRS has deployed electronic tax services (e-services) to ensure the automation of tax processes for the purpose of improving transparency as well as easing speed of tax administration for both taxpayers and administrators.

“The volume of economic activities associated with businesses like Uber, Amazon and our own Jumia and Interswitch is further confirmation of the aptness of the theme.

“To put it in clear terms, the digital space is new ‘gold’ in terms of revenue generation and tax administration, and we  must be alive to this fact.

“It is with this in mind that FIRS has designed and deployed electronic tax services (e-services) to ensure the automation of tax processes for the purpose of the improvement of transparency, ease and speed of tax administration for both taxpayers and tax administrators.

“These e-services have in no small way contributed to the successes recorded in the last two years amidst an economy characterised by the effect and aftermath of recession,” Fowler said.

The e-services, he said are e-Registration for registration of new taxpayers; e-Stamp duty for payment of stamp duties on qualifying documents; e-TaxPayment for payment of all taxes of the Federal Government using Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Remita or Interswitch; e-Receipt for receiving and verifying e-receipts generated for taxes paid through the new e-TaxPayment.

Others are e-Filing, which enables taxpayers file their tax returns through Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS); and e-TCC platform, which enables taxpayers apply for, receive and verify authenticity of their electronic tax clearance certificates (e-TCC).

Fowler stated that the conference is an opportunity for tax administrators to brainstorm on new ideas to broaden the tax net as well as strategise on optimal service delivery.

The conference, according to him, is also for the discussion of current ideas, new trends and future prospects of revenue collection.

“This conference, like others before it, presents us with an opportunity to brainstorm and articulate initiatives for the broadening of the tax net and strategies geared towards ensuring optimised service delivery.

“Furthermore, it presents a forum for the discussion of current ideas, new trends and future prospects of revenue collection,” he said.

He reiterated FIRS’ commitment to supporting research to further stimulate economic development, effective tax administration as well as discharge of its statutory functions under the FIRS Establishment Act.

He urged participants at the conference to employ their different expertise in helping the FIRS and other tax administration authorities in their efforts at effective taxation, especially of the digital space.


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