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Okonjo-Iweala to FIRS: Consider birth certificate as tax registration

By on July 5, 2013

NOIwealaAs the country’s fortunes dwindles from the sale of crude oil, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has instructed the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to employ “any efforts” to grow the nation’s revenue base.

She urged the FIRS to consider birth certificate as registration for taxation purposes as obtained in South Africa and Namibia, where tax registration and TCC are being linked to birth certificate.

Represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Danladi Kefas, she said FIRS’ efforts to grow the nation’s revenue base remain a step in the right direction, most especially, in the face of the dwindling oil income.

The minister said,”any efforts by the FIRS to grow the revenue base of the country are welcome and everybody must contribute his or her share, especially, when somebody is earning taxable income.”

A statement from the FIRS said Okonjo-Iweala gave the directive in Abuja on Thursday at a one-day sensitization workshop for Local Staff of Embassies on PAYE, Withholding Tax (WHT), Value Added Tax (VAT) on Contracts, and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

The statement signed by Emmanuel Obeta, Director, Communications and Liaison Department quoted Okonjo-Iweala as saying that “you cannot escape tax and claim to be a responsible citizen of that country. Once you pay tax, you can now have the benefits that come with payment of taxes. Tax payment is the backbone of any country.”