ANAMBRA STATE REVENUE SYSTEM ELIMINATES MULTIPLE TAXATION
Chairman of Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, Dr Dave Nzekwu has dismissed reports of double or multiple taxation in the State as erroneous and unfounded.
He said the wrong impression by some people arises from confusing levy and tax.
Nzekwu who was guest of the Governor’s Media Office at the Meet the Media series emphasized that the citizen should distinguish between tax and levy.
“If someone is asking someone to pay cash on a Sunday, obviously that is not tax. Taxes are paid through the bank or other avenues that are not cash collection.”
Making further clarifications, Nzekwu noted that levies are service – specific. “There are functions that the State Government performs for the people that the individual benefits directly from and therefore pays a charge on. That is not tax. For example, the State Government manages waste on behalf of Ndi Anambra and the individual benefits directly when the government takes care of the waste generated.
Another is business levy. When you pay business premises permit, the Government gives you certificate to do business in that area. That is not tax.” He mentioned the annual five hundred naira development levy and signage fee among other charges commonly mistaken as tax by people.
The Revenue Service Chairman said by contrast tax is an income – dependent payment to the State by individuals from which they may not have direct but general benefit.
“Taxes are put into one basket and the Government decides how to manage the resources for the benefit of everyone. You can not say because you have paid your tax, Government should come and tar the road that leads to your house.”
Dr Nzekwu decried the low level of tax compliance in the State, stressing that tax is proportional to income and low income earners are not at disadvantage.
“In 2018, apart from those on Pay As You Earn, only 2,148 individuals paid tax in the State.”
Analysing the factors impinging on commensurate revenue earning, Nzekwu lamented that in the past the wrong ways of doing things lasted for long, making changes difficult.
“Non State actors set up different channels to extort people. Even when an individual was given opportunity to collect revenue, there was no way of calculating exactly what he collects at the end of the year.”
He however assured that the present dispensation was making progress in addressing the identified loopholes.
“We’re trying to digitise to cut off all those excesses. With the automation going on, we now have a department able to generate individual tax bills. We have generated a bill for N15b for direct tax, N6b for sanitation where we were only getting N94m before now.”
Another redress measure in the works is designing longer spans of revenue administration.
“We’re trying to modify the way levies are being paid so that instead of paying daily/weekly, it will be monthly, annually or bi annually.”