Acting chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Zacch Adedeji, has allayed fears being expressed by corporate organisations that the resolve of FIRS to increase the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio to 18 per cent from 10.86 will lead to increase in taxes.
In a statement, Adedeji said such resolve would not necessarily lead to increase in taxes or introduction of new taxes, as the President Bola Tinubu-led administration was determined to create a wholesome environment for businesses to flourish.
The FIRS chairman had said the agency under his leadership, would in the next three years, achieve eight per cent raise in tax-to-GDP ratio to surpass Africa’s average of 16.5 per cent without stifling investment or economic growth.
The plan had triggered muffled apprehensions that the decision could cause an increase in tax rates or introduction of new ones.
Addressing representatives of top large tax-paying companies during a get-together at in Lagos on Wednesday, Adedeji said, “Our belief, understanding and vision as a revenue-generating agency is not to introduce any new tax as we only want to use data to improve compliance.”
The statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Dare Adekanmbi, quoted the FIRS chairman as saying that the invited companies and those willing to voluntarily carry out their tax obligations had nothing to be afraid of.
He said, “Our plan is simple. We want to grow tax revenue and we only want to tax prosperity and not poverty. Therefore, it is not in our interest to kill the trees that bear the fruits. My first ‘love letter’ to you is to appreciate what you have done. So, you don’t have anything to be afraid of.
“We will not collect what is not due to us. But we don’t want anyone not to pay what is due to us. Fair engagement is our plan. Rest assured that the 18 per cent tax-to-GDP target will not translate to increase in taxes.”