Experts task professionals on tax reform

Dr. Olateju Somorin

Dr. Olateju Somorin

An urgent call has been made to tax professionals on the need to step up contribution in the quest for a robust tax reform in the country.

During the second Chief David Ajibola Olorunleke Birthday Lecture, organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), in Lagos, the guest lecturer, Dr. Mark Abana, said that there is indeed, a need for critical reforms of tax administration in Nigeria.

Speaking on the theme: Professionalisation of Tax Administration in Nigeria, a Case for Critical Reforms, he pointed out that though, the National Tax Policy is already being reviewed, unless there’s a modern, competent and efficient tax administrative framework, the policies and laws will be in vain.

“The key is implementation and the political will to ensure the implementation. It requires the implementation of effective and transparent tax administration at all three tiers of government, “he said.

Abana also observed that a number of recommendations has been made over the years by different groups, but stressed that the next critical reform towards professionalising tax administration in the country has only one recurring decimal known as implementation.

He however, noted that “walking the talk”, rather than “talking the talk” requires the focused and unflinching support of all tiers of government.

“Tax professionalisation requires clear communication of the rules and guidance to the taxpayers, effective interactive with taxpayer stakeholder groups to harmonise the tax burden and drive voluntary compliance, “he said.

On the role of the CITN, Abana averred that the organisation has over the years’ during its yearly tax conferences, called for the professionalisation of tax administration among other reforms needed.

“Other reforms called for by the CITN include, amending and updating tax laws, policy and practice and increasing the transparency and accountability of tax administration for the benefit of both the nation and taxpayers, “Abana said.

Meanwhile, the President and Chairman of Council, CITN, Dr. Olateju Somorin, in her remarks hinted that CITN Act came into being to bring together under one body, professionals who are engaged as tax administrators and practitioners.

She also posited that tax administration in the country remains the crucible of policy directions and legislation upon which they rely.

“Where policies are none existent to give impetus to tax legislations, it besets the system with very poor implementation of the tax law with tax administrators hard put as to how to effectively administer taxes, “she said.

On impact of the reforms, Somorin noted remains manifest in the country, especially in the areas of staff motivation, capacity building, modernisation, process automation and increases in revenue for all the tiers of government from non-oil revenues, has been seen.

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CITNOlateju Somorin


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