Onitsha NBA decries high taxation demand figures from gov’t tax officials

March 16, 2021
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. as AIRS seeks partnership with legal professionals

By CHUKS EKE

The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Onitsha branch has decried what they termed jaw dropping figures in the name of demand notice for tax due to be paid being dished out by tax authorities to private legal professionals.

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They queried the tax assessment method through which those jaw dropping figures were arrived at, claiming that both Federal and state governments were yet to justify proper utilization of tax payers’ money in providing infrastructure and other basic amenities.

This allusion is coming on the heels of a call by the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, AIRS, Dr.David Nzekwu for private legal professionals to collaborate with the body in making the state great.

Speaking during a seminar on taxation organized by NBA Onitsha branch, the Chairman, Onyechi Ononye, Esq said that the objective of the programme was to invite the Tax authority and other tax experts in the legal profession to interact with NBA to enable her members understand the issue of Personal income tax assessment in Anambra State.

“The NBA Onitsha branch recognizes the magnitude of tax payment to the economic growth and development of the State. Onus is therefore on us as members of a dignified and noble profession to perform our statutory obligation in other to build a better community for ourselves.

Flanked by the branch Vice Chairman, Mrs. Margaret Wilcox-Iwuchukwu and the branch Secretary, Francis Ibechukwu Esq., Ononye further declared: “The crux of the problem is the appropriate amount an individual or corporate body should be charged for or liable to pay as their tax for the year. Jaw dropping figures as Tax due to be paid has always brought disagreement between the legal practitioners and the tax authority”.

“Another question is has the Government really done enough for tax payers to justify the tax payments? The high tax rates applicable in Nigeria cannot be justified due to obvious absence of dividends of such taxes paid. There abound bad roads, inadequate hospitals, poor educational facilities, poor remuneration of workers, absence of potable water, et cetera which were the reasons for introducing taxes. Providing these amenities would motivate individuals and corporate bodies to pay taxes without coercion”, said Ononye.

A guest lecturer at the event and Dean Facullty of Law Nnamdi Azikiwe University, NUIZIK, Awka, Prof. Meshach Umenweke; a Discussant at the event, Chief Ikenna Egbuna, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN and the Chief Judge of Anambra state, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu, while presenting their papers explained different types of taxes stressing on the consequences of tax evasion and nonpayment of tax. 

Umenweke and Egbuna taught the legal practitioners the importance of honestly evaluating themselves with proper documentation of their income, expenditures and profit to back up their tax assessment returns and prompt submission cum payment of their Annual Personal income taxes before March 31 of the following year.

Nzekwu, ably represented by Ms Chika Obiano

reiterated the need for self employed residents and corporate bodies to pay their taxes as and when due since the government of Anambra State led by Governor Willie Obiano is doing his best to provide security, infrastructure and prompt payment of workers’ salaries, even as he insisted that government is not out to exploit anybody.

“Tax is a compulsory payment to the government imposed by law on income earners. AIRS has new innovations to improve tax administration and compliance in the state. They include Automation of our tax administrative process, introduction of ANSSID Number, Online filing of returns, Anambra revenue journals and sensitization programmes through different channels”.

“Legal practitioners need to collaborate with us to make Anambra State great. Pay correct taxes. Encourage others to comply with tax directives. Offer advice professionally to tax payers”, said Obiano, Nzekwu\s representative at the event.

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