An honorary treasurer of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), who is also a Director in the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Oluwatobi Abiola has urged engineers and the general public to always pay their taxes rather than waiting until they are forced to do so.
Mr. Abiola made this known on Thursday May 19, while delivering a lecture during the 2022 Business luncheon and induction of new members of The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Apapa Branch, with the theme: “Tax Avoidance: The Engineers Role In Building A Culture of Voluntary Compliance in Nigeria.”
Mr Abiola said that Nigeria would not develop without adequate payment of taxes, adding that only taxes grow a nation.
“The more we pay taxes, the more Nigeria develops,” he said, while encouraging engineers to voluntarily comply and not wait until they are forced to pay their taxes.
“The law is very clear on this, and seasoned professionals, every registered company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is expected to file its account every year,” he said.
According to the FIRS Director, the enforcement arm of the service stipulates that a tax payer should be treated like a king, when he or she pays his or her taxes.
“Recently, we celebrated a lot of tax payers that have paid theirs. However, there are many enforcement in the Act that could be used against any defaulter(s) such as seizure.
“But what we are saying is that don’t fall a victim in this threshold as engineers and professionals. Make sure that the right things are done everytime.
“There are a lot of benefits in the payment of taxes such as construction of bridges, roads, seaports, housing etc.
“All these are made possible through payment of taxes. If everybody plays his or her part, we would get it right in the country.
“However if you look at personal income tax, where you live is where you pay tax,” he said.
He explained that when someone is living in Sango/Ota, Ogun State, for instance, the person must pay his or her tax to the Ogun State government, even though, the money is generated in Lagos.
“But for a company, anywhere you are in Nigeria, and you are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), you must file your account with the FIRS every year,” he said.
Mr. Abiola emphasized the need for every Nigerian to vote wisely during the electioneering period, adding that it’s the responsibility of all elected leaders to do the right thing for the people.
He therefore advised that if everybody pays his or her tax, there would be money for the government to spend for development purposes.
“What’s expected of us is that whoever is at the helms of affair must use government money judiciously.
“Tax planning is legal, it serves as guidance to a tax payer. As a tax payer, you can claim allowances, and bonuses based on your tax,” said the guest speaker.
While expatiating on the different classes of taxes, he said: “we have VAT, Income Tax, Education Tax, Petroleum Tax, it depends on which one you fall into.
“When you are involved in buying and selling, for instance, and your goods cost N100, and your total sales is N110, you are operating at a loss.
“The law permits you not to pay income tax, but you will pay 7.5% VAT. It’s not yours, it belongs to the federal government. You owe the government an allegiance on the collection, you can be making losses and still pay taxes.”