In order to boost tax administration in Nigeria, experts have stressed the need for critical reforms of the country’s tax system as well as its profession.
They made this remark during the 2nd Chief David Ajibola Olorunleke Birthday Lecture organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) held in Lagos at the weekend.
The guest lecturer, Dr. Mark Abana, while speaking on the theme: “Professionalisation of Tax Administration in Nigeria, a Case for Critical Reforms,” pointed out that though, the National Tax Policy was being reviewed, unless there was a modern, competent and efficient tax administrative framework, the policies and laws might 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 had been made over the years by different reform groups but stressed the next critical reform towards professionalising tax administration in the country have 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 roles of the CITN, Abana averred that the organisation has over the years during its annual 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, Mrs. Olateju Somorin in her remarks hinted that the CITN Act came into being in order to bring together under one body of professionals 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 laws with tax administrators hard put as to how to effectively administer taxes, “she said.