Tax practitioners have made a case for the inclusion of more taxable age into the nation’s tax net, stressing that it is one way of easing the nation out of economic recession.
The experts made this call at a public forum. The event was at the installation of Taiwo Waheed Raji, as sixth Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Abeokuta and District Society.
Speaking separately, the chairman of the occasion, Olusola Idowu, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Dr. Gbenga Adeoye, an authority on taxation and tax management, decried the ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ disposition of many in leadership positions in the country who ask people of taxable age to pay taxes while not creating enabling environment for tax payment.
The experts argued that enlarged tax net is part of measures to raise revenue base required to run the machinery of government and provide essential service to the people.
Adeoye who was guest lecturer at the occasion, argued that no government or tax authority should expect citizens to pay taxes promptly if little or no efforts were taken to provide required infrastructure that enhances socioeconomic growth and development.
Speaking on “Morality of Tax Evasion: The Immorality of Good Governance in Africa,” Adeoye noted that government is only quick to collect taxes, but doesn’t know how to use the money judiciously to better the well-being and social lives of citizens.
“If those paying taxes are not enjoying what those that are collecting it enjoy, then there will be tax evaders.
“Turning the nation’s assets to personal ones, rigging of election results and all sorts of evils perpetrated by people in power and ultimately, poor or absence of required infrastructure account for tax evasion,” he said.
For Idowu, a “revolution has to be taken in tax administration” while the issues of taxation have lots of responsibilities for socioeconomic development of the country.
“It is very difficult for informal sector to pay tax and reason is not farfetched, since the government seems to be irresponsible and irresponsive to people’s yearnings.
“That is why tax agency must continue to sensitise people, and it is also important for government and revenue board to tell people every time what they generate, how they spend it and what they do with it, and also guard against multiple taxation,” he said.