FG pays N157.35bn PAYE tax arrears to states

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The Federal Government has paid N157.35 billion PAYE (Pay
As You Earn)  tax liabilities owed by Federal Ministries, Departments
and Agencies, MDAs to states, Tunde Fowler Executive, Chairman,
Federal Inland Revenue Service and Chairman of the Joint Tax Board,
JTB said on Thursday in Awka, Anambra State.

The amount, Fowler disclosed, represented outstanding liabilities of
PAYE by federal MDAs to State Governments from 2002 to 2016.

A total of N23.87 billion of the N157.35 billion went to States in the
South-East Geopolitical Zone.

Fowler spoke at the South-East Geopolitical Zone leg of the
Flag-Off of the New National Taxpayer Identification Number, TIN
Registration System at the Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre in Awka.

He expressed optimism that the remittance to states will encourage
State Governments to reciprocate and promptly remit all Withholding
Taxes and VAT due to the Federation Account.

Said Fowler: “Over the last four years, the economic policies of the
current administration has focused on establishing a stable foundation
for further socio-economic growth and development, and with the astute
leadership of Mr. President, the milestones achieved bears ample
testimony on the impact that has been made, not only in tax-revenue
administration, but in the environment of doing business in Nigeria.

Fowler listed some of the achievements of the JTB and the FIRS in the
last few years to include the following:
i. Expansion of the tax base from 10 million to 20 million taxpayers with
the potential for an increase of up to 45 million before year end;
ii. Exponential growth in the IGR collection at the sub-national level by
46.11% from N800.02 billion in 2016 to N1.16 trillion in 2018;
iii. Growth in FIRS collections by 53.81% from N3.30 trillion in 2016 to
N5.32 trillion in 2018; with the 2018 total collection of N5.32 trillion
being the highest collection ever in the history of FIRS, while Non-Oil
Revenue, with a collection of N2.85 trillion accounted for 54% of total
revenue collection;
v. Consistent upward progression in the World Bank ‘Ease of Doing
Business’ ranking, that saw the country move up 16 places in the
recently released 2020 Report from 146th position to 131st position;
thus, making the country one of the top 20 reformers globally.

Fowler noted that on his way to the Dora Akunyili  he noted the
industry and diligence of the people of Anambra State all in the bid
to move the state forward. “But the government needs your continued
support by continuous and prompt payment of taxes so that the good
work can continue to depend on donor funds and aids. We need to
generate our own revenue. And the only way we can do that is through
prompt payment of our taxes.

“The future of our country is in our hands.. Nigeria and the whole of
African cannot continue to rely on AIDS donation and handouts from
developed countries.
Fowler noted that today’s launching in Awka is the third in the series of
Flag off exercise, having launched two others in South-West in Lagos
State, and in the North-Central in Ilorin, Kwara State.

Fowler said the new TIN system improves on the efficiency and output
of the entire tax administration process, and it is also meant to
provide enhanced convenience to the taxpayers as well as the tax
administrators, while guaranteeing that each taxpayer’s details are
readily available to them at their fingertips at all times and
anywhere.

“A major feature of the New System is that it possesses the capability to
Integrate with all relevant agencies by leveraging on already captured
Data. With its ability to deploy analytics to discover underlying
Correlating trends and patterns, better visibility of the taxpayer is
Assured inherently leading to increased Internally Generated Revenue
(IGR) for all tiers of government. Thus, the new system reduces the
burden of taxpayer information management, while at the same time
significantly reducing the cost of collection.
“The new system maintains the identification of an individual taxpayer
via the assigning of a unique and universal Taxpayer Identification
Number (TIN); however, unlike the old system, it is now possible for
any taxpayer to view, retrieve or update his/her tax profile from
anywhere 24/7.

The FIRS boss celebrated the attainments of the  Anambra State
Internal Revenue Service (AIRS) has displayed a penchant for breaking
boundaries in terms of its capacity to grow IGR. “With just over N10.4
billion collected as IGR in 2014, collections have grown by 84.6% as
at 2018, with a total annual collection of N19.3 billion collected as
IGR for the year. This positive trend is also set to continue in 2019
as a comparative look at the half year figures for 2019 indicate a
22.9% growth over the correlating period for 2018, with the sum of
N8.68 billion collected as at June 2019 as against N7.06 billion which
was reported as at the same period in 2018.

“Having achieved all these while still tied to the apron strings of
the mainstream civil service, it interesting to consider what the
performance would be were the AIRS to enjoy an autonomous status in
its financial and administrative operations.

“A look at the IGR performance of the South-East geopolitical zone
also show encouraging growth trends as the cumulative collection of
N77.31 billion for the year 2018 was a 16.66% improvement of the
N66.27 billion collected in 2017. The year 2019 is looking quite
positive as well as already, the sum of N42.98 billion has already
been reported for the half year period. This represents an 18.1%
growth over the N36.4 billion recorded for the half year period of
2018.

“As the States within the Region continue to aspire towards
accomplishing greater things in terms of the raising IGR in a
sustainable and inclusive manner, the new is designed to support such
efforts by consolidating on the efficiency and effectiveness of their
respective tax administration processes.

He thanked the partners and collaborating agencies; Corporate Affairs
Commission (CAC), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Immigration
Service (NIS), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS),
Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigerian Communications
Commission (NCC), as well as our Consultants for their cooperation and
professionalism leading to the project and event.

Fowler said that the common purpose of ensuring a more friendly tax
environment in the country, and achieving the laudable objectives of
the various socio-economic initiatives of Mr. President such as the
Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative, Ease of Doing Business and the
Economic and Recovery Growth Plan will continued to be helped by such
collaborative efforts.

Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano who was represented by the
Deputy Governor, Dr. Sam Okeke, launched the Anambra Stamp Duty
Revenue Stamps, which he noted was part of the innovations, which the
Chairman of the Anambra Revenue Service, Dr. David Nzekwu, introduced.

 The Governor noted that Anambra State which is first in the nation in
security, first in tourism attractiveness is also deepening its
attention to data, both of taxable and non-taxable citizens of the
state.

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