The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, today assured taxpayers that the e-platform introduced by the service would address the current difficulty in issuance and obtaining e-Tax Clearance Certificates (e-TCC) in the country.
The FIRS’ boss, who gave the assurance at the monthly lunch time reform seminar organized by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) in Abuja, explained that the electronic Tax Clearance Certificates (e-TCC) would be available next year for civil servants to use.
Speaking on the topic “Removing the Constraints to Obtaining Tax Clearance Certificates by Public Servants”, the seasoned tax administrator assured hinted that measures had been put in place by the tax agency to address the challenges in issuing and obtaining of Tax Clearance Certificates.
TCC is a statutory document issued by a relevant tax authority to a taxpayer to certify that he/she has paid the tax required.
Fowler, who was represented by the Tax Controller for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Mr Robin Njoku, explained that from developing the e-services, required the establishment of Federal Engagement and Enlightenment Tax Team (FEETT) and production and dissemination of taxpayer information guides as some of the measures to ease difficulty in issuing and obtaining of TCC.
He pointed out that the difficulties associated with e-TCC issuance currently could be as a result of knowledge gap in taxation, non-registration of Tax Identification Number (TIN), incomplete documentation, and non-remittance of the tax deducted, application of wrong rates in tax computations.
Other challenges he listed are, under remittance of tax deducted, failure to apply for TCC, application to wrong tax authority, general apathy in obtaining TCC and lack of understanding of administrative processes in the Tax offices.
The FIRS’ boss disclosed that as penalties, the Tax law provides that any person who commits any offence ranging from, counterfeits, falsifies any document, counterfeits any seal, signature, initial or other marks, shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N200, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
He therefore urged authorities concerned to ensure that the tax deducted is remitted to the relevant tax authority on or before 10th of every month.
According to him, number of MDAs in Data base from 2012 to 2017 is 334, adding that 11 MDAs filled annual returns in January 2017. This is even as he disclosed that 4140 certificates were issued in 2012 while 5802 were issued in 2017, saying that in the same period, 26 were unissued in 2012, while 32 were also unissued in 2017.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Acting Director-General, BPSR, who was represented by Head, Special Projects and Programmes, Mr. Sylvester Ayam, explained that the event was to create awareness for the reforms initiated by the Head of MDAs on tax clearance certificates.
Ayam said the topics of the paper presentations were wisely chosen as a result of wide complaints from civil servants of the difficulties they faced in their effort to obtain tax clearance certificates.
He expressed optimism that at the end of the programme, participates would have been well informed about the processes and procedures they needed to go through to get the e-TCC easily.