A strategic alliance aimed at dismantling the scourge of multiple taxation in the informal sector, while enhancing the collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT) has been developed between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN).
FIRS hopes to leverage MATAN’s national spread with well over 40 million traders across the country, making it the biggest player in Nigeria’s market space.
The Service in a statement said the partnership with MATAN was disclosed at a Stakeholders Engagement Programme on the VAT. This will see the FIRS collaborating with the association to deploy technology to enumerate traders for collecting and remitting VAT to the Service, consequently leading to an expansion of the tax net and increased revenue for the Federation.
The VAT DIRECT Initiative (VDI) is a program designed to foster collaboration between the FIRS and the market place, especially the informal sector, in the collection and remittance of the Value Added Tax (VAT) using technology.
Speaking during the Stakeholder Engagement, Mr. Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman FIRS, highlighted that the initiative was the first of its kind, and that it was crucial to revenue generation and also to eliminating multiple taxation, especially from the informal sector.
The FIRS boss who is also the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) further stated that the government was worried about the multiplicity of taxes, and that the Service and JTB were working on modalities for addressing this challenge and that this partnership has laid a very good foundation for the government to address the issue of multiple taxation and extortion by tax officials, tax agents and touts in the marketplace.
He further noted that the Service would collaborate with security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, to deal with illegal tax collection by touts in markets.
“One important area of our collaboration is the issue of providing adequate security in the markets. We are aware of the challenges that you have faced in the past with miscreants, self-imposed tax collection agents, and touts.
“I want to assure you that as part of this initiative, we will be collaborating with the relevant security agencies particularly the Nigeria Police Force to tackle all forms of touting and illegal tax collection by miscreants and keep them away from your markets.”
Mr. Nami further noted that the success of this collaboration would lead to increased revenue for the country, and in turn provide the government the needed resources to fund infrastructure and other social amenities.
“The successful outcome of this collaboration and additional revenue accruable will have multiplier effects on all sectors of the economy as the government will have more revenue to provide the needed social amenities and infrastructure in critical sectors”, he explained.