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TAX PAYERS NOW TO ASSESS-SELVES

By NBF News
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Taxpayers got cheery news from the Federal Inland Revenue Service yesterday as they are now free to self-assess themselves. Though their submissions will be matched against available data from other sources, the self-assessment regime is the new focus of the new tax agency, signalling a de-emphasis of the old tax regime.

This came yesterday as the Service announced that by the end of October 2011, the FIRS has exceeded the 2011 revenue target set by the Federal Government; and by the end of the year, the revenue agency is optimistic of also exceeding its own revenue target of N4.378.31 trillion.

The agency's Coordinating Director, Tax Operations Group (TOG), Mr Samuel S. Ogungbesan, at the Regional Enlarged Management Meeting (REMM) in Lagos yesterday said the revenue body pulled in the total tax revenue of N3, 726.47 trillion between January and October 2011.

The Federal Government gave FIRS a revenue target of N3, 639.07.

The Executive Chairman of the Service, Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, at the opening of the meeting attributed the progressive performance of the Service to the all-round institutional and tax reforms going on in the organisation.

Omoigui Okauru, whose speech was read by her Special Adviser, Alhaji Abdullahi Attah, charged the FIRS Management to work harder to entrench, the self-assessment system of tax administration in the country.

Under the Self-Assessment regime, tax payers are allowed to file tax returns based on their own assessment of themselves.

According to the FIRS Chairman, modern tax administration does not rely solely on the level of tax collection for the determination of efficiency or effectiveness but also engaging other criteria like self-assessment filers and public perception of the tax agency in relation to its programmes and activities.

Tagged 'Enhancing Revenue Tax Collection Through Effective Implementation of Full Self-Assessment Regime' FIRS top hierarchy are brainstorming on how to get tax administration better in Nigeria through implementing the global principles of self-assessment.

According to the FIRS Chairman, 'The concept of Self-Assessment tax regime was first introduced in Nigeria in 1998 but has not been implemented in the form and manner that is in accordance with the best practices as applicable in other tax jurisdictions. In order to ensure proper and full implementation of self-assessment, a project team was set up to drive the reform in this area so as to ensure focus and standardisation and implementation across FIRS offices.