Nigeria: Abuse of Tax Incentives, Multi-Taxation Are Impediments to Taxation - CITN

20 August 2019

The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), on Monday, said multiple taxation and abuse of tax incentives were challenges impeding development of the Nigerian taxation system.

Dame Gladys Olajumoke, President of the Institute, made this known at the second Annual International Academic Conference on Taxation organised by the CITN in collaboration with Babcock University.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that theme of the conference was: "Taxation and Business Sustainability".

Olajumoke said many of the tax incentives granted by government had not achieved commensurate benefits for the economy, saying that in some cases, the incentives were abused by investors.

She noted that tax incentives and waivers, if granted at all, should be sector-based and granted through tax laws so as to promote transparency.

"It should also be streamlined with respect to pioneer status, import duty waivers and double dipping for income exemption. Incentives should be sector-based and industry-focused to ensure a level playing field," she said.

Olajumoke lamented the abysmal tax compliance culture in Nigeria, which she said must be reversed to enhance the taxation system in operation.

According to her, in the mid of the abysmally low tax compliance levels, there was also the cry from corporate entities about double and multiple taxation.

She said businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), had been greatly affected.

"Regrettably, the current tax-to-GDP ratio, a global measure of tax effort of 6.1 per cent, is rather too low.

"This ratio is one of the lowest in the world compared to 23 per cent in Ghana, 25 per cent in South Africa and 39 per cent in Brazil, to mention a few. Evidently, we have an abysmal tax compliance culture," she said.

Olajumoke noted that without the creation of wealth, people could not pay taxes and recommended that multiple taxation and earmark taxes should be reduced to the barest minimum.

NAN

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