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Senators endorse tax reform proposals

Posted by By Emmanuel Aziken on 2005/08/18 | Views: 269 |

Senators endorse tax reform proposals


ABUJA—SENATORS have expressed support for the Federal Government’s tax reform proposals aimed at removing the nation’s main sources of revenue from petroleum related levies, taxes and royalties.

ABUJA—SENATORS have expressed support for the Federal Government’s tax reform proposals aimed at removing the nation’s main sources of revenue from petroleum related levies, taxes and royalties.

At a closed door interactive session with officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service on the proposed tax reforms, Senators were said to have generally given their endorsement of the tax reforms but asked for a graduated increase of the Value Added Tax rate. The administration in its tax reform package now before the National Assembly hopes to double the rate of VAT from 5% to 10%.

The FIRS officials led by the Executive Chairman of the FIRS Ms Ifueko Omoigui according to Vanguard sources were said to have briefed the lawmakers on the need of reforming the present tax code which she said was aimed at increasing the tax revenue.

"The intention is to generate more funds from appropriate taxes beyond petroleum to make individuals more responsible and responsive to the nation by paying their taxes as and at when due," one Senator present at the briefing told Vanguard yesterday.

Omoigui was also understood to have briefed the lawmakers on the desirability of improving the working conditions of the staff of the FIRS in the light of "the responsibilities they carry."

In responding to her craving, Senators were said to have welcomed the need to bring in more people presently not paying taxes into the tax bracket. The lawmakers it was, however, learnt expressed their hope that the reform would not negatively affect the lowly paid.

On the vexed issue of taxing allowances earlier criticized by several Senators during the debate on the tax reform bills, Senators were said to have been won over by the FIRS team that allowances were presently being taxed.

"We did not know that allowances are presently subject to taxation, so the issue of taxing allowances under the monetization programme being opposed by Senators is no longer there," one Senator present at the briefing said yesterday.

Another Senator welcoming the tax reforms told Vanguard yesterday:"You see we don’t have a tax culture in this country and it is mainly the poor people who pay taxes and this reform will help to streamline the payment of taxation."

At the heart of the tax reform agenda is the elimination of double taxation and the urge to encourage voluntary compliance. Under the proposed bills now before the National Assembly, the import levies on sugar and automobiles are to be scrapped while the rate of VAT would be increased to 10%.

Senators at the briefing were drawn from the Senate Committees on Finance, Appropriation and Public Accounts.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.