Tax: FCT minister warns individuals against providing false information
By Hudu Yakubu Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has warned high-income individuals who provide false information on their income to refrain from such an attitude.
The Minister issued the warning at a one-day tax seminar with the theme, “Reviving the Tax Culture of Filing Tax Returns, organised by the FCT Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS), on Tuesday in Abuja.
The Minister, represented by the Mandate Secretary of FCT Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and Public-Private Partnership, Alhaji Lukman Agboola said it was worrisome that only 10 per cent of registered residents of the FCT are contributing to the maintenance and development of the territory by paying their taxes.
According to him, “As you are all aware, one of the canons of taxation is fairness, such that payment of tax is proportional to the income of the person.
“Therefore, tax should be equitable in a way that the amount of tax payable should be proportionate to income.
“It is however worrisome that, according to reports reaching me, only 10 per cent of registered residents of the FCT are contributing to the maintenance and development of the Territory by paying their taxes.
“This needs to change for fairness and entrenchment of the rule of law. We must begin treating tax evasion as the crime it is,” he said.
Bello encouraged all residents of the FCT to make the filing of returns an obligatory and necessary step toward supporting the socio-infrastructural development of FCT.
“We must understand that taxation is not just a means of providing funds for services and infrastructure, it is also a means for the high earners to contribute to the upliftment of the quality of life of the low earners, he added
The Minister commended the FCT-IRS for its foresight in holding the seminar aimed at enlightening taxpayers on their very important civic responsibility of filing tax returns.
He said, “It is my hope that this seminar will chart a way for the FCT Internal Revenue Service to improve compliance to tax payment and the proper declaration of all income by all residents.”
In his keynote address, the Managing Director, JK Consulting, Dr James Naiveju, urged the legislature, the judicial, public servants and professionals to ensure timely and complete filing of their tax returns.
Naiveju said if all FCT residents agree to file their tax returns effectively and it would enhance the economy and reduce the rate of poverty.
He, however, urged the FCT-IRS to simplify the process of tax returns by making it electronically that could be accessible with smartphones and other devices.
“A proud resident of the Federal Capital Territory has a moral and civil responsibility to file their tax returns with utmost patriotism to the fatherland.
” There must also be patriotism, determination, political will on the part of the authority to ensure that citizens file their tax returns as at when due,” he stated.