Acting chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zacch Adedeji, has said there are no plans by the agency to increase the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio to 18 per cent from 10.86, a situation that will lead to increase in taxes.
He gave the assurance during a parley with representatives of top large tax-paying companies in Lagos.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Dare Adekanmbi, quoted the tax chief to have allayed fears being expressed by the corporate organisations, explaining that such resolve would not necessarily lead to increase in taxes or introduction of new taxes, as the President Bola Tinubu-led administration is determined to create a wholesome environment for businesses to flourish.
Adedeji had said the agency, under his leadership, would in the next three years, achieve eight per cent raise in tax-to-GDP ratio to surpass Africa’s average of 16.5 per cent without stifling investment or economic growth, a plan had triggered apprehension that the decision could cause an increase in tax rates or introduction of new ones.
The FIRS chairman said the vision as a revenue-generating agency was not to introduce any new tax, but use data to improve compliance.
He further stated that the invited companies and those willing to voluntarily carry out their tax obligations had nothing to be afraid of.
He said, “Our plan is simple. We want to grow tax revenue and we only want to tax prosperity and not poverty. Therefore, it is not in our interest to kill the trees that bear the fruits. My first ‘love letter’ to you is to appreciate what you have done. So, you don’t have anything to be afraid of.
“We will not collect what is not due to us. But we don’t want anyone not to pay what is due to us. Fair engagement is our plan. Rest assured that the 18 per cent tax-to-GDP target will not translate to increase in taxes.”