FIRS Executive Chairman explains Nigerian tax reforms at KPMG breakfast seminar

28 May 2019 2 min. read
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At a breakfast seminar organised by Big Four accounting and advisory firm KPMG for tax experts across Nigeria, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Babatunde Fowler has indicated that the agency is looking to eradicate multiple taxation scenarios.

The taxation system in Nigeria has been described by many as highly complex. The country is among the largest economies in Africa, and is looking to propel this growth by fostering its economic potential. Central to this goal is the reduction in the high tax default rates that plague the country.

Nevertheless, the taxation system remains disorganised and inefficient, which further exacerbates the problem. An executive from Big Four accounting and advisory firm PwC recently indicated that the simplification of the country’s tax payment portals is crucial for rectifying this scenario.

Now, fellow Big Four firm KPMG has held a Breakfast Seminar for taxation officials in Nigeria, which was themed, “Tax Controversy & Dispute Resolution.” Speaking at the event, Babatunde Fowler has indicated that tax reforms are up and running, and the goal is to bring greater alignment in the taxation process.

The Executive Chairman explained that the FIRS has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Internal Revenue Agencies to this end. Fowler acknowledged the issue of tax defaulting, and indicated that a number of major financial organisations did not even have a tax ID.

“We see things changing this year and I hope that the corporate body would take advantage of this opportunity.This simply says that if you have businesses operating in more than one state, instead of having five State Internal Revenue Services and FIRS coming to check your books, you can do it at one stop,” said Fowler.

“You inform the committee, they look at your books and each state would get what is due them and of course the FIRS. I don’t really think there should be much concern when you are talking about disputes in this respect. That is because 99 per cent of all these accounts do not even have a tax identity. Without a tax ID at the FIRS level, you can’t make tax payments,” he added.