…announces plan to harmonise tax collection functions
The chairman of the presidential committee on fiscal policy and tax reforms, Taiwo Oyedele, has said that no government agency has been stopped from collecting revenue, but his team has been mandated to harmonize tax collection.
Oyedele, a former fiscal policy partner and Africa tax leader at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), also said the federal government does not intend to introduce new taxes.
The fiscal policy expert spoke on Sunday in a post on X, addressing some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the committee.
However, the tax expert said many of the agencies would rather focus on their primary functions; hence, the committee plans to harmonize revenue collection.
“No agency has been stopped from collecting revenue, as many of them are empowered to do so by law. However, many of the agencies would rather focus on their primary functions; hence, we intend to harmonize the fragmented revenue collection functions into one agency for each government,” he said.
“This is the case in many countries, including the leading tax regimes in Africa. This reform will help to improve efficiency and enable the agencies to focus on their primary mandates for the overall benefit of the economy.”
Meanwhile, Oyedele clarified that while the committee does not intend to introduce new taxes, it also does not want to impose higher tax rates.
“Rather, our mandate is to reduce the number of taxes and levies while harmonizing revenue collection to reduce the burden on people and businesses,” he said.
“The objective is to avoid taxing investment, capital, production, or poverty. We plan to review and re-enact the major tax laws in a holistic manner, thereby limiting the necessity for frequent changes through annual finance acts.”
On how the committee plans to achieve a tax-to-gross domestic product (DGP) ratio of 18 percent in three years, Oyedele said the average tax-to-GDP ratio for Africa, excluding Nigeria, is about 18 percent.
“This is the basis for the target of 18% and the estimated tax gap of N20 trillion,” he said.
“There is a huge opportunity to generate revenue by leveraging technology and tax intelligence to close the tax gap.
“In addition, we will rationalize incentives, reduce the cost of collection, and optimize revenue from government assets and natural resources. This way, we can generate more revenue without introducing new taxes.”
Speaking on the multiplicity of revenue collections by ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs), Oyedele said the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is best suited to collect revenue for the MDAs.
He advised that the MDAs of the federal government should not collect revenue directly.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; email@example.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)