The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has introduced the electronic filing system to simplify and make tax payment process easier.
The Service said at the official launching of the new platform that it had also updated taxpayers on how to access the FIRS e-filing platform, particularly steps for using the electronic system to make tax returns.
The acting executive chairman of the Service, Kabir Mashi, said that the e-filing system, which is now operational in most cities nationwide, was part of the end products of the Integrated Tax Administration System, ITAS, Project embarked upon few years ago.
He said the e-filing access application form could be downloaded from the FIRS website: www.firs.gov.ng, or obtained from any FIRS office nationwide.
According to the chairman, the aim of the ITAS Project was to modernize tax administration in the country, from the entirely manual process to all-round automated system.
The ITAS project, he noted, was one of the initiatives to modernize the operations of the Service and make the system more transparent and efficient.
He said the ITAS would take the FIRS to a point where all its key tax functions and core processes, including registration, payment, assessment, case management, audit and investigation, debt management and filing, would be automated.
The e-filing system, Mr. Marshi pointed out, was a platform that would boost taxpayers’ voluntary compliance as it would help them file tax returns from anywhere, including their offices and homes.
The new system would also reduce the cost of tax administration, increase efficiency, minimize data entry errors and allow the taxpayer to perform some aspects of their tax administration process personally in a secure and confidential manner.
The Tax Manager, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mofoluke Agbeyanjo, who performed the formal presentation of the e-filing procedure on behalf of the FIRS, said the processes were in two stages: how to get User ID to access the e-filing platform and steps to render tax returns.
According to Mrs. Agbeyanjo, after obtaining the e-filing access form, either by downloading from FIRS website: www.firs.gov.ng, or from any FIRS office nationwide, the customer would complete the form and nominate representative to the organization on tax matters.
Besides, the tax payer would indicate on the form the access the nominated representative would either view only, declare (file returns), or view rights.
On returning the completed form to the FIRS office, the information on the form would be used to issue system generated username and password, which are the keys the customer would need to access the e-filing site to transact tax business with FIRS.
Customers can also use the platform to check their account balance, change relevant registration details and connect to tax office customer centre to make enquiries.
The second stage of the process, Mrs. Agbeyanjo said, involved the completion of the summary of the declarations (tax returns) on the customer homepage after a successful login, while retaining either hard or soft copy of the returns filed.