FIRS Boss Harps on Capacity Building Amid Challenges Posed by Digital Technologies to Tax Administration

•JTB: Domestic tax ecosystem influenced by ongoing reforms

James Emejo in Abuja

Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Dr. Zacch Adedeji, yesterday emphasised the need for increased capacity building to enhance tax administration processes among member countries of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA).

Adedeji, also the current President of CATA, said expanding the capacity of tax personnel of member countries would empower them to deal with the challenges that have negatively impacted the tax administrative landscape globally.

Speaking at the opening of CATA management meeting in London, he urged members to embrace the adoption of technology in improving tax processes, noting that the rapid advancement in tax technology presented opportunities and threats.

Adedeji said, “We must equip ourselves with the knowledge and skills to understand these evolving discussions and contribute to formulating transparent and beneficial rules for our respective jurisdictions.

“Furthermore, the rapid advancement in tax technology and digitisation has presented opportunities and challenges for tax administrators worldwide.

“The discussions surrounding pillars one and two of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) can redefine international tax rules.

“Additionally the landmark tax convention resolution at the United Nations (UN) Assembly has underscored the importance of international cooperation and inclusivity in addressing tax challenges.”

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Dare Adekanmbi, the CATA president said, “The discussions surrounding pillars one and two of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have the potential to redefine international tax rules.

“In light of these developments, it has become increasingly evident that the need for improved and more comprehensive capacity building for CATA members is paramount.

“Moreover, we must be prepared to effectively implement these rules once they are concluded, to ensure their successful integration into our tax administration frameworks and maximize the benefit they will bring.”

Pillars one and two of the OECD address how to expand tax revenue annually based on the profit thresholds of companies that do not operate physically in countries but make sales from such countries through digital platforms or other means.

Adedeji, however, commended the management committee and members who have agreed to host the body’s programmes in 2024, describing such commitment as a testament to the devotion to the success of the association’s strategic plan.

The management meeting had in attendance tax administrators from the United Kingdom (His Majesty Revenue and Customs), Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Barbados, Papa New Guinea, Ghana, Lesotho, Maldives, Uganda, Mauritius, Nigeria, and others.

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary, Joint Tax Board (JTB), Mr. Olusegun Adesokan, said the country’s domestic tax ecosystem was being influenced by ongoing reforms.

He said the board, given its crucial role in the nation’s tax administration landscape, must position itself to fully utilise future opportunities.

Speaking at the opening of the 2024 JTB Staff Strategic Retreat in Abuja with the theme, “Encouraging a Culture of Collaboration, Innovation, and Adaptation to Respond to Emerging Challenges While Positively Projecting the Image of JTB”, Adesokan maintained that to achieve its objectives, it was essential that the JTB Secretariat staff fully imbibe the culture of collaboration and innovation, to enable a full understanding of their role under the emerging dispensation.

He pointed out that the theme of the workshop reflected the underlying inspiration behind the various topics to be treated, adding that “It is expected that the outcome of this exercise will meet the objectives and goals earmarked for it”.

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