The Lagos State Government yesterday said that no fewer than 734,737 additional tax payers have been registered across the state.
Mr Bola Shodipo, Special Adviser to Gov. Babatunde Fashola on Taxation and Revenue, made the disclosure at a news conference to mark the governor`s seventh year in office.
He said that new entrants had brought the number of tax payers in the state to 4, 216, 751 people, from 3,482,094 in 2013, representing a 21 per cent growth in tax revenue.
Shodipo said that in spite of the noticeable tax revenue growth, the tax compliance level was still considerably low as about five million taxable residents still defaulted in tax payments.
“The new 734,737 new tax payers we have captured, as a result of increased advocacy, voluntary compliance, among other strategies, are mainly people from the Organised Private Sector.
“Some members of the informal sector voluntarily complied. No doubt, this is a big achievement, but it is far from where we are going as there are still about five million taxable adults who still don’t pay.
“We appeal to this category of people to fulfil their part of the social contract and pay their taxes to enable government mobilise enough resources for development,” he said.
Shodipo also said that some individuals, groups and corporate organisations were being prosecuted by government for defaulting in tax payment.
He said the government had been given court orders to distrain 413 defaulting companies out of the 863 distrain cases filed at the Lagos High Court.
Shodipo said that out-of-court settlements were being discussed with defaulters who had shown willingness to pay.
He said the administration of land use charge in the state had improved significantly, in terms of service delivery, revenue generation, and data credibility.
Also speaking, Mr Tunde Fowler, Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), said the state`s monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) had grown to N20 billion, from a little above N14 billion in 2012.
He attributed the IGR growth to the improved revenue generation strategies of the service and increasing tax compliance levels of residents.
Fowler said LIRS would continue to evolve creative ways of improving the revenue profile of the state, even as he urged residents to pay their taxes to enable government deliver more on its development goals. (NAN)