Effective Tax Drive And Sustainable Development
The importance of effective tax drive to financial autonomy cannot be overemphasized, as effective taxation is key to sustainable development.
Gone were the days when tax collectors physically ran after tax evaders to arrest and compel them to pay their taxes, while some of such monies were not properly accounted for.
But, modern tech-driven processes of tax collection has simplified it and it believed that aggressive tax drive through the tech-driven process will wean federating states from overdependence on federal allocations.
A tech-driven process has proven to be the vital tool that should be leveraged by states if they must achieve higher tax compliance. For instance, the new Taxpayer Identification Number Registration System demonstrates the transformative power of technology as a significant contributor to the ease of doing business reforms, both at the national and sub-national levels.
At the national level, the federal government had set up the Joint Tax Board (JTB), headed by the executive chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which introduced “a smart, innovative and technology-driven solution” in achieving higher tax compliance.
Understanding the challenges associated with overdependence on federal handouts, it becomes necessary for states to pursue an inclusive revenue generation push to achieve financial autonomy and reduce reliance on crude oil earnings. Effective taxation is one of the ways to move a state forward, according to experts.
It was not surprising therefore when the Office of the State Accountant General recently organized a one-day workshop for heads of accounts and other charges in Ministries, Directorates and Agencies (MDA’s) of State Government at the ICT Centre of the office, to address issues of taxation in Akwa Ibom.
The training became necessary to bring together practitioners, professionals and others to be able to sharpen their skills and seek the way forward by finding solutions to issues of taxation.
As chief advisers to commissioners and permanent secretaries in their various MDA’s, who may not be well versed in taxation matters, it was pertinent for them to be properly counselled on taxation matters.
There is no doubt that the sustenance of a good tax collection drive would help to insulate the state from the effects of decline in revenue derived from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), arising from the 2014 crash of global crude oil prices.
To achieve improved revenue generation, there is need to pursue efficient tax compliance among the people. After all, an improved tax collection and tax compliance drive would be a win-win policy for government and the people.
Also, as the level of tax compliance rises, citizens are more inclined to hold their governments accountable and demand higher quality of governance and service.
It is the duty of governments to respond to citizens’ need by removing barriers that inhibit compliance. They must ensure efficiency of the tax administration system to reduce the cost and challenges associated with tax collection process.
The media has a role to play in educating the public on the importance and benefits of the embracing new tax collection approaches.