By Etuka Sunday
A tax system designed to facilitate voluntary compliance and seamless payment by taxpayers is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria and all the three tiers of government in the country should work towards achieving such a goal.
The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, stated this in Lagos where he addressed stakeholders in the tax sector and enjoined them to avail themselves of seamless access to various Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-driven and web-based portals made available to them by the FIRS to pay their tax.
The Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad in a statement quoted Mr. Nami to have listed the available FIRS e-payment channels for paying all federal taxes, and for interacting with the FIRS, to include the e-TIN portal, the ITAS solution, VAT auto-collect, Stamp Duties portal and the newly unveiled electronic Transfer Pricing Returns Filing Solution or “TP Plat”.
The TP Plat is the latest addition to the FIRS ICT-based gateways for taxpayers. According to Nami, the TP Plat was created to provide a “very easy, cost-effective and scalable system to relevant taxpayers to file transfer pricing declaration and disclosures.”
The FIRS chief said: “A system that prevents taxpayers from making timely, true and correct disclosures of their controlled transactions to the tax authority will result in transfer pricing audits which are largely based on guess-work, suppositions or outright untrue data-set. Such a situation breeds mistrust, lingering tax disputes and non-compliance which would, in turn, lead to increased cost of compliance for the taxpayer and increased cost of administration for the tax authority.”
Mr. Nami observed that “transfer pricing (or transfer mispricing) is a highly contentious issue between tax authorities and MNCs all over the world. This explains the close attention paid to TP issues by both tax administrations and MNCs globally. The importance FIRS attaches to this electronic filing solution is within this context.”
He listed the benefits accruable from the Service’s deployment of the TP Plat and other web-based solutions by the FIRS to include increase in voluntary tax compliance rate, improvement of Nigeria’s standing on the global ease-of-doing-business index and lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, which President Muhammadu Buhari has set as a cardinal goal of the current federal administration.