How new national tax system will boost revenue, grow businesses – FIRS

Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman
Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman

The new national Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) registration system and consolidated tax database will ensure value addition to tax revenue administration and facilitate the ease of doing business, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said.

The system, which consolidates individual and corporate taxpayers’ records, provides a unique identity to the taxpayer as the foundation of the country’s automated tax administration system.

The Chairman of FIRS, Tunde Fowler, said the system is a web-based solution offering access to authorised users to initiate TIN request from the comfort of their homes/offices real-time online, verify tax status and print TIN certificates.

Mr Fowler said the system assures timely and accurate collection and recording of basic identification data.

It also permits the tax administrator to understand its taxpayer base for effective revenue projections and planning, he added.

He was speaking at the official launch of the new system by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday in Abuja.

The FIRS Chairman, who is also the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board, said with tax administration in the 21st century evolving into a systematic and deliberate process based on availability of accurate and reliable data, the new system will ensure the identification of individuals and businesses.

He said available tax records through the system would not only be credible and reliable, “they would be readily accessible under a secure environment, online and real time”.

“For the revenue potentials of the country to be maximally harnessed, it is essential that credible and reliable data is available for use,” he said.

Ease of doing business

Such records, he said, are essential to facilitate the ease of doing business and to help Nigeria achieve its economic objectives in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

Other benefits of the new system, Mr Fowler said, include boosting efficiency and ensuring coordinated and systematic approach towards managing revenue generation and tax information sharing between tax authorities in and outside the country.

He said the consolidated database limits the incidences of double taxation.

It also serves as a prerequisite for the sale and purchase of immovable property, registration of vehicles, applications for plots of land, import and export licence, registration as a contractor, and entry visas.

Mr Fowler said the system has potentials to help the FIRS increase its tax base from the current 20 million taxpayers to about 45 million before the end of the third quarter of 2019.

Leverage, synergy

The Executive Secretary, JTB, Oseni Elamah, said the new system leverages on existing data from relevant identity management agencies to reduce the burden of multiple registration of taxpayers, ensure seamless integration and exchange of information among the various tax authorities.

Mr Elamah said the new system will ensure the process of domestic tax-revenue administration meets up with the developing trends in information and communication technology.

The new system is operated in collaboration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Mr Osinbajo, who performed the launching of the system said it was in line with international best practices.

“The new TIN Registration System leverages on existing data from a variety of authorised identity management agencies, and the data from both individuals and corporate bodies.

“Taking advantage of the current trends in information communications technology, it will indeed ensure convenience for the taxpayer, while achieving operational efficiency for the tax administrator, all dovetailing into enhanced revenues for governments at all tiers to fund their respective social-economic drives,” the vice president said.

He directed all agencies critical to the success of the new TIN system, such as the CBN, NIBBS and NIMC to fully cooperate with the JTB, especially in providing relevant individual records.

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