JTB Urges Amendment to Conflicting Provisions in FIRS, FCT-IRS Acts

The Chairman, Joint Tax Board and Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, has appealed to the National Assembly and all key stakeholders to identify, review and amend some of the conflicting provisions in the FIRS (Establishment) Act of 2007 and the FCT Internal Revenue (Establishment) Act.

This, he said was necessary in order to address incidence of multiple taxations which has continued to be a thorny issue in the country’s domestic tax environment.

He made the call yesterday during a retreat on how to resolve conflicting issues on tax collection in the FCT in line with statutory provisions which was organised by the FCT Administration.

Nami, said resolving the conflicts would educate stakeholders on the requirements and obligations of prevailing tax regimes and clarify the statutory collections open to the various tiers of government.

He urged participants to consider complaints raised by the taxpayers in the organised private sector regarding the demand by Area Council officials for payments that are not backed by any legislation.

The Director-General Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Dr. Timothy Olawale and the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, were some of the speakers that voiced concern about challenges of double taxation, exorbitant demands for payments, which do not align with bye-laws and passage of bye-laws without consultation with businesses as some of the grey areas in tax administration in FCT.

They noted that the anomaly was undermining authority of the FCTA on tax matters, leading to loss of revenue to government through use of tax consultants and closure of businesses.

The NECA DG called for the abolishment of use of consultants, the inclusion of NECA representative on decision-making processes on tax and harmonisation of taxes within the ambit of by law.

Aliyu, who lamented the alleged outrageous demands and notices vowed that the FCTA would put an end to multiple taxation for the benefit of Abuja residents.

She acknowledged the acrimony between the FCTA and the Area Council authorities as it related to the collection of levies, rates, charges and other demands.

The minister affirmed that the administration was not unmindful of the position of the constitution as the supreme law of the country in the discharge of this essential function of government.

She assured that efforts were in place to fine-tune the constitutional provisions especially with respect to the status of Abuja as the seat of the federal government, while the authorities are working towards an amicable agreement with the political leaders in the area councils on the misunderstanding.

In his remarks, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, noted that the imposition and collection of tax revenues was a constitutional obligation that binds the citizens and their leaders and provides the needed resources for progressive national development.