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At the Annual Tax Conference (ATC) organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CITN) in Abuja, Chairman, Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS), Sir Oseni Elemah revealed that Eighty per cent of taxable Nigerians do not have a taxpayer identification number and are therefore not paying taxes.
Elemah told NAN that it had paved way to high tax evasion and avoidance. He stressed that the huge and massive leakages in Nigeria tax system as well as companies operating without filing annual assessment was due to lack of TIN.
TIN which stands for 'Taxpayer Identification Number' is a unique number allocated and issued to identify a person (individual or Company) as a duly registered taxpayer in Nigeria.
“When you calculate the tax income revenues Nigeria ought to have made and deduct it from the amount realised, we will all understand Nigeria is missing much.
He said in order to have a transparent tax administration that is accountable, all taxable Nigerians and companies must be made to get TIN.
“A Nigerian becomes taxable when he or she becomes 18 years and earns a regular income, such individual must file annual returns for assessment.
“Many Nigerians are still outside the tax net, it remains so without TIN number,’’ he said.
He said that other sources of tax income generation include, Company’s Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Petroleum Income Tax and Valued Added Tax (VAT) among others.
According to Elemah, the country needs massive reforms that would drag all taxable Nigerians into tax net.
“All taxable Nigerians and companies must be made to acquire TIN and this must go with immediate enforcements,’’ he said.
He further said that TIN would bring immediate voluntary compliance.
He added that TIN would bring Nigeria’s tax administration and practice in line with global best practices, enhance taxpayer identification and registration and minimise leakages in tax collection.
“It would also facilitate information sharing between various tiers of Government, create a more conducive environment for investors and ultimately inspire greater confidence in Nigeria’s taxation system.
“It is also a good medium to drain illegal taxes and double taxation,” he said.