Nigeria’s Joint Tax Board has disclosed that the board is considering the National Identification Number for tax collection to boost the country’s Internally Generated Revenue.
The Chairman of JTB, Muhammad Nami, said this on Thursday at the opening of the 147th meeting of the board in Kaduna State, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
The NIN database will provide the most robust, accurate and comprehensive record of current and future tax-payers in the country, Nami said.
“We must, therefore, think of how best to explore this unique opportunity to ramp up tax-payer registration, validation of tax-payer identification, collection of data, profiling and analysing data collected.
“This will ensure that every citizen and other taxable persons in the country are compelled to declare and pay their taxes honestly as provided under Section 24 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended,” Nami said.
He added that linking NIN to all key economic activities of individuals and businesses would provide reliable, easy-to-access information to determine the correctness of the information declared for tax purposes by all tax-payers.
“It is also expected to streamline various regulatory processes for businesses and individuals leading to increased administrative efficiency and ease of doing business,” he said.
If properly implemented, according to Nami, the initiative is capable of expanding Nigeria’s tax net to cover at least 90 per cent of all eligible taxable persons against the estimated below 30 per cent captured so far.
The initiative also has the prospect of increasing the country’s tax contribution to Gross Domestic Product ratio from the current six per cent to about 20 per cent over the next five years, he asserted.
Nami, however, noted that tax administrators were facing the daunting challenge of finding innovative and effective ways of preventing, detecting and remediating tax evasion, illicit financial flows and loopholes that facilitate aggressive tax avoidance.
“It has been demonstrated worldwide that access to data and intelligence to determine accuracy of tax-payer information are key to driving voluntary compliance and minimising tax evasion.
“So far, no country has been able to achieve a high level of tax compliance without having a robust system of personal identification,” Nami added.
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