The Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) has attributed the significant drop in the state’s revenue to the biting effects of COVID-19 and other related factors.
The state generated N30.7 billion in 2019 but this dropped to N19.604 billion in 2020, a 56 per cent decrease.
Addressing a news briefing in Ilorin, the state capital, on Tuesday, the KW-IRS Executive Chair, Shade Omoniyi, said the drop in revenue generation in 2020 was expected because of the “COVID-19 restrictions, Kwara’s uncompromising adherence to tax break and waivers for businesses during the period, and the fact of its operations being majorly manual as at last year, 2020.”
She said the hugely manual nature of its operations as of last year meant that its staff were unable to move around to collect taxes as COVID-19 hit hard.
Mrs Omoniyi said there was also no new raise in the tax rate, even as the agency made deliberate steps to tackle multiple taxation.
“Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) since inception has operated a manual tax administration system. This means assessment and collection of relevant taxes payable to the State Government from both KW-IRS and other MDAs are on contact basis.
“Despite this, the Service has recorded steady IGR growth over the years. Upon its assumption of office in October 2019, the Service’s new management began working tirelessly to sustain this momentum. These efforts culminated in the IGR growth from N23 billion as at 30th September to N30.7 billion as at the end of the year, 2019.”
“The Service did not rest on its oars as various revenue and cost-cutting initiatives were immediately implemented to shore up the State IGR while it worked assiduously to automate its revenue and tax administration processes. The various revenue leakage blockages paid off when in quarter one of 2020,the Service generated N7 billion.
“Notwithstanding, with the gradual easing of the lockdown, revenue generation by the Service again shot up to N4 billion in Q3 2020 and N6 billion in the Q4 of 2020.
“Thus, it is made obvious that the low IGR figures in Q2 and Q3 and consequent dip in 2020 IGR performance are solely attributable to the Covid-19 incidence and our contact-based collection which proved quite ineffective while the lockdown lasted. These observations were enumerated in the quarterly revenue collections reports released by the Service in year 2020.”
Unprecedented feat in Q1, 2021
The commission also announced that it generated N9,598,504,939.90 in the first quarter of 2021, a feat it credited to its increased adoption of technology and steady blockage of leakages within the tax administration system.
The figure is the highest ever collected by the agency without any extraordinary item at any quarter since its founding in 2016, Mrs Omoniyi said.
“ Thus, in the first quarter of 2021, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) recorded an Internally Generated Revenue of N9,598,504,939.90 (Nine Billion, Five Hundred and Ninety Eight Million, Five Hundred and Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirty Nine Naira, Ninety Kobo Only), the highest so far in the history of the Service without an extraordinary item.
“Having mapped out strategies to achieving its IGR target for the current fiscal year, the first quarter collections show steady and significant growth, month-on-month as indicated below:
“This feat of KW-IRS in Q1, 2021 was a great improvement over the N6, 227,099,973.42 raked in, in the last quarter of 2020. It is a reflection of the relentless efforts of the Service in bringing seamlessness to Tax Administration through automation and introduction of online payment platforms to ease payment of all taxes.
“In addition to the Harmonized Bill, other initiatives have been introduced. This includes re-profiling of our taxpayers, making mandato y the submission of schedules along remittances; carrying out prompt enforcement on recalcitrant taxpayers, expansion of ticketing model for the informal sector etc.”
She added that the remarkable growth in the 2021 first quarter IGR is equally an indication that the state government continues in its efforts to ensure the economic activities of the State recovers fast from the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, in spite of the drive to increase IGR, has not introduced new taxes since the inception of the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq; the required and legitimate taxes due are what are being paid by taxpayers and collected appropriately into the coffers of the State. All revenue lines of the MDAs in Kwara State are the same as approved and as provided by existing relevant laws.
“KW-IRS will continue to work to ensure improvement in revenue generation; a veritable support for the Federal allocation to ensure the State Government meets its responsibilities and the desires of Kwarans. The Service will also continue its collaboration with all MDAs and Stakeholders in the State for effective and efficient collection of all that is legally due from taxpayers. The Service will strategically and systematically play its part by using the most appropriate technology and committed workforce for the growth of revenue for the State,” she said.
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