Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Online tax filing now available in Nigeria

The Federal Inland Revenue Service on Monday announced the take-off of the online tax payers' platform to ease the payment of taxes in the country.

The Service explained that with the new arrangement, anybody who wishes to pay tax can easily do so online by logging into the internet banking platform of any of the commercial banks, choose the FIRS link and follow the prompts.

Acting Chairman of the FIRS, Kabir Mashi, said the new platform is the product of the electronic tax-pay solution, an ease of tax payment initiative of the Service in collaboration with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System and Systemspecs Limited.

At the launch and public sensitization of the new platform in Lagos, Mr. Mashi explained that the e-Tax Pay Solution was a self-service FIRS channel available on all commercial banks.'

He said once a taxpayer logs into any bank's Internet banking platform, he can access the FIRS link to pay his taxes and submit necessary documents the same way he may chose to pay other bills.

The Chairman, who was represented at the occasion by an official of the FIRS, Achilis Amahwe, explained that the system is simple and convenient to operate.

"It is that accessible and it is very secure," he said. "Taxpayers do not have to go to any tax office before taxes are paid. Tax payment is just a click away," he said.

According to him, it was the quest for simplification of the tax payment process and ease of access to tax services that led FIRS to roll out the electronic filing service under the Integrated Tax Administration System.

The new system, he said, serves as a means of reducing time and cost of compliance for taxpayers as well as ease interface between taxpayers and authorities.

Besides, he said the system provides additional convenience for taxpayers interested in, from the comfort of their homes and offices, uploading their tax returns on the e-Tax Pay Solution platform.

Mr. Mashi urged taxpayers to cultivate the attitude of using the e-Tax Pay Solution, or e-filing platforms, as those were created for their convenience and ultimately engender a transparent and efficient tax system that optimizes tax revenue collection and voluntary compliance.

He said the FIRS was hoping that taxpayers would respond positively to these innovations and utilize them to a large scale.

The new system would not only ease compliance for the taxpayers, but also enable FIRS to ensure greater transparency in tax operations.

This would give Nigerians full access to their records, which they uploaded as well as payments they make," the Chairman said.

The Coordinating Director, Field Operations Group, who was represented by Director, Medium Tax Department, Peter Olayemi, said the e-Tax Pay Solution would boost tax revenue collection.

The self-service initiatives, he said, were introduced to strengthen the self-assessment regime and improve voluntary tax compliance using the online payment options.

These initiatives would bring in more tax revenues and also provide convenience for both the taxpayers and the tax authorities." Mr. Olayemi said.

Also speaking at the event, the Director, Programme Management Office (Tax), Gbolaga Oshiga, said the platform was so user-friendly and interactive that a first-time user would not find it difficult to complete the process.

The launch and demonstration of the platform attracted stakeholders from various sectors of the Nigerian economy including Dangote Plc, Guiness Nigeria, Chevron, banks and telecommunications operators.

The e-Tax Pay Solution is an initiative put together by the FIRS in collaboration with the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) and System Specs Limited to meet the expectations of taxation stakeholders in the area of service delivery.

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