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CITN issues 43 practice licence certificates, harps on professionalism

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The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), on Monday presented practice licence certificate to 43 new members to enable them practise as Certified Chartered Tax practitioners.

The President of CITN, Dame Olajumoke Simplice, who made the disclosure at the Official Presentation of Licence to Practice, Seal and Stamps to Qualified Tax Practitioners in Lagos.

He said the exercise was in compliance with the Mandates and Acts of the institute, adding that it was also a mechanism to grow the tax administration system of the country.

According to her, the presentation signifies commitment on the part of the new members to become ambassadors of the profession at all times.

She, therefore, urged the new members to uphold the principles and integrity of the profession in their service to the society.

The president of CITN called on the new members to contribute their quota to the move toward ensuring effective and efficient tax administration system in Nigeria.

“Professionalism remains the driver of developed economies and jurisdictions, the world over. In developed economies, specialisation is the order of the day as its benefits far outweigh any known demerits.

“Today, the tax profession in Nigeria is separate and distinct from any other professions.

“Our institute is empowered by the CITN Act, Cap C10, Vol. 2, laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to regulate the taxation profession in Nigeria.

“By implication, therefore, the certification of tax practitioners falls within the jurisdiction of CITN, to the exclusion of any other.

“This mandate enables us to present you with the Institute’s license, seal and stamp which entitle you to file tax returns and offer professional advice to clients for a fee,’’ she said.

Simplice also urged them to strive at all times to enhance the respect, admiration and good name of the Institute with honesty and integrity which members of the Institute are known for.

“With placement of the seal of the institute on all your clients’ returns, the institute’s reputation is being put to test because it authenticates the contents of what you are filling to respective revenue agencies.

“By conducting yourself in a courteous and professional manner, not only will you be establishing your reputation in the taxation community.

“You will also be helping to foster atmosphere of civility in the polity by being a role model for practitioners in other professions.’’

The dame who warned that institute would not fail to sanction any misconduct, advised the new members to continually be updated with new technologies of the profession to remain relevant.

“The Institute will not fail to wield the big stick of discipline where there are reported and established cases of misconduct by members.

“Our Investigating Panel and Disciplinary Tribunal are equipped and active to dispense such matters,” Simplice said.

She assured them of the institute’s commitment to providing the necessary support to ensure smooth operation of the members.

“As global best practices continue to evolve, the Institute is more committed to even setting higher standards to meet these global demands.

“Beyond standards, what all these really mean is that, it is no longer enough for professionals to restrict their knowledge only to their own field.

“ The process of being a well-grounded tax professional requires constant efforts to stay up to date on taxation generally.

The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, CITN, Mr Adefisayo Awogbade said that only 43 out of many who applied for the certification satisfied the requirements set out by CITN Council for the issuance of license to practice.

According to him, the institute has taken a review of the requirements to be met by applicants seeking to be licensed tax practitioners.

“In the new guidelines, applicants will undergo a physical interview which will involve the physical presence of applicants.
“The interview sessions would be decentralized, region by region, to ease the stress of applicants.”

One of the recipients, Mrs Ngozi Nwankwo, assured readiness of the new members to enhance the integrity and reputation of the profession in their service delivery to the society.
LUC/VIV/DUA

Editing by Vivian Ihechu/Dada Ahmed

 

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Gov. Bagudu advises CITN on accurate data  

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Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, on Thursday, advised members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) on accurate date over population of pupils and teachers in schools for proper planning in education sector in the state.

 

Bagudu, stated this in Birnin Kebbi during the 7th zonal tax conference of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), North West zone.

 

“There is urgent need to have accurate data on population of pupils, teachers for proper planning in schools as well as in the health sector.

 

” The CITN has to intervene in this dialogue in order to move our country forward in general and the state in particular,” he said.

 

 

Bagudu noted that Nigerians must be ready to sacrifice a lot if they wanted the nation to progress rapidly.

 

 

According to him, the country is not making enough progress because people are not sacrificing for the future.

 

 

“There is different between where we need to be and where we were.

 

“We need more revenue to meet up with our work; we have to find a way of financing our goals.

 

“We need to sacrifice for our future because we are not making enough progress all because we don’t generate enough Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to finance our goals,” the governor said.

 

In his remark, the Sokoto State Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Abdussamad Dasuki who was represented by Mallam Aminu Dahatu, disclosed that the State IGR had increased from N9 billion to nearly N20 billion.

 

He assured that the state would continue to use the revenue judiciously.

 

Earlier, the President and Chairman of Council of CITN, Mrs Dame Olajumoke said that for any nation to develop rapidly, issues bothering on tax management must be addressed.

 

“The world over, particular in developing economies, revenue generation and effective tax management has always posed a challenge.

 

“This challenge is more pronounced in mono – product economies, which Nigeria, sadly, belongs to.

 

“Such countries have faced serious challenges in mobilizing adequate revenue to fund development.

 

“Government authorities until recently, had largely focuses their efforts towards exploring their natural resources and exporting same for foreign exchange earnings from these resource, coupled with corruption and poor management of these economies.

 

There is now focus on revenue from other sources, particularly, taxes,” Olajumoke said.

 

The theme of the conference is entitled: ” Revenue Generation and Tax Management in a Growing Economy: Issues and Challenges. ”

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Ekemini Ladejobi

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CITN confers fellowship on 329, calls for professionalism

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The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), on Saturday, brought 329 members into the fellowship cadre of the Institute to improve and promote taxation practice of the country.

Dame Gladys Simplice, the President of CITN, said at the 2019 Conferment of Fellowship ceremony of the Institute in Lagos that the exercise was in compliance with the mandates and Acts of the Institute.

She said, “The tax profession in Nigeria is separate and distinct from any other professions and CITN is empowered by the CITN Act, Cap C10, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to regulate the taxation profession in Nigeria”.

Simplice said it was also a mechanism to build and grow a sustainable tax administration system in the country.

According to her, the conferment signifies commitment on the part of the conferees to become ambassadors of the profession at all times.

She, therefore, urged the new Fellows to uphold the principles and integrity of the profession in their service to the society.

The CITN president said the new fellows should contribute their quota to the move towards ensuring effective and sustainable tax administration system in Nigeria.

She stressed that the tax system needed to be improved upon, saying that taxation could serve as a veritable tool for running the economy as is done in other countries.

“With your conferment as Fellows, much more is expected from you as members.

“You are therefore expected to strive at all times to enhance the respect, admiration and good name of the Institute.

“By conducting yourself in a courteous and professional manner, not only will you be establishing your reputation in the taxation community, you will also be helping to build an Institute which will be a role model for other professions.

“As a fellow of the Institute, avail yourself with opportunities of seminars and workshops to constantly be updated with new developments and methodologies in the profession.

“Overall, our primary purpose is to maintain the sanctity of the taxation profession to the extent that knowledgeable, skilled and qualified professionals are available in Nigeria,” she said.

Prof. Abiola Sanni, a Fellow of CITN, said that tax administrators should continually be updated with new trends, developments, principles and methodologies of taxation system to remain relevant to the society.

Sanni, also a special guest of honour at the ceremony, said that a tax professional must be conversant with tax policies and tax laws of the country.

“Professionalism remains the driver of developed economies and jurisdictions the world over.

“In developed economies, specialisation is the order of the day in view of its immense benefit to societal development and transformation.

“Taxation profession is a multi-disciplinary course; you need to equip yourself technically: be up to date with tax laws, tax jurisprudence as well as global tax practice.

You are to be more driven by expanding the frontier of tax knowledge rather than only the pecuniary interest.

“The process of being a well-rounded tax professional requires constant effort to stay up to date on taxation generally.

“Taxation is an ever-changing profession, and the best professionals are those who approach each day with the desire to gain a better understanding of taxation and all its intricacies.

“In order to be relevant and useful to those you represent, you must educate yourself day in and day out. This is not an easy task, but it is essential,” he said.

One of the conferees, Mrs Oliseowe Anna, expressed appreciation to the Institute for the good gesture and called for measures to restructure and strengthen the taxation system of the country such that more people would brought into the tax net.

Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle

(NAN)

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Economy

CITN inducts 586, harps on need for effective taxation system

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NNN: The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) on Saturday inducted 586 new members as certified chartered practitioners in the field of taxation.

Mrs Gladys Simplice, President of CITN, said at the 41st induction ceremony of the institute in Lagos that the exercise was a mechanism to grow the tax administration system of the country.

According to her, the induction signifies commitment on the part of the inductees to become ambassadors of the profession at all times.

She, therefore, urged the inductees to uphold the principles and integrity of the profession in their service to the society.

Simplice said the inductees should contribute their quota to the move toward ensuring effective and efficient tax administration system in Nigeria.

“The induction programme provides the opportunity to formally certify tax professionals who have met the requirements to practice as chartered tax administrators.

“As a chartered tax professional, avail yourself with opportunities of seminars and workshops to constantly be updated with new developments and methodologies in the profession.

“Overall, our primary purpose is to maintain the sanctity of the taxation profession to the extent that knowledgeable, skilled and qualified professionals are available in Nigeria,” she said.

Simplice listed some of the Institute’s recommendations that could be adopted to address identified issues in the 2020 Federal Government Budget.

According to her, there is potential for government to increase productivity by investing in education with emphasis on quality and quantity as a way of driving the 2020 budget.

She said: “More than ever before, there is a compelling need to reinvigorate our enlightenment and education mechanisms. The National Orientation Agency (NOA) must wake up to its statutory responsibilities.

“A concerted plan of action is required to change the narrative of poor tax awareness by the citizens”.

According to her, at the government level, it is important that tax policy initiatives and reviews in tax laws are well thought-out and followed through.

Simplice added that government should avoid the propensity to introduce earmarked taxes with the intention of raising revenues while neglecting the impact such action would have on businesses and economic activities.

“As the Federal Government has announced the increase in VAT rate from 5% to 7.5%, the 2019 Finance Bill is seeking legislative backing for the increased rate. Hence, there is need to increase indirect taxation,” Simplice said.

Dr Udochukwu Ogbonna, a Fellow of CITN, said that tax administrators should maintain professionalism in the course of discharging their mandates.

Ogbonna, who was Special Guest of Honour at the ceremony, said that a tax professional must display honesty, humility and commitment when dealing with clients.

“I enjoin you to go out there and up the scale of taxation practice and administration in Nigeria and globally.

“Taxation practice is not “settlements”. You need to equip yourself technically; be up to date with tax laws, tax jurisprudence as well as global tax practice. You are to be more driven by expanding the frontier of tax knowledge rather than only the pecuniary interest,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Best Overall Graduating Student among the inductees, Mr Olaoluwa Bamidele, stressed the need to create more awareness on taxation system to help widen the tax net in Nigeria.

Bamidele said the government should fashion out measures to restructure and strengthen the taxation system such that more people would pay tax, having made the citizens to see and feel the benefits of tax payment.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

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Economy

Nigeria will not progress without taxation – CITN

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Mrs Olajumoke Simplice, President, Chartered Institute of Taxation, Nigeria (CITN), has said that Nigeria will not progress without effective taxation system in place.


Simplice made this known at a Seminar on ‘’Current issues in Nigeria Taxation: VAT Act, Stamp duty, TIN and PTF’’, in Abuja on Tuesday.


“The Value added tax at five per cent cannot work; when it was promulgated in 1993, it was said that it will be reviewed over time; 25 years past, nothing has been done.


“In 2007, 2009 and 2019, attempts were made and there was a lot of noise around it. I think Nigerians just need to understand that we cannot progress without taxation.


“The days of oil revenue are completely over, we should be working on the issues of taxation,” she said.


She said that the 7.5 per cent VAT in the 2020 budget as part of revenue generation was laudable with the exemption of basic items from being taxed.


According to her, the items are the ones that affect the common man in the health sector, agriculture and others.


She added that micro and small enterprises with less than N25 million turnover was also exempted.


Simplice said that government must work out details on how to implement the VAT adding that the decision was a step in the right direction.


She further explained that Nigerians should equally understand that VAT remained a consumption tax that one can only pay when they consume goods applicable.


“If you sit down in your house and eat, you will not pay VAT, if you give your wife money to go to the market, you will not pay VAT but if you carry your wife to Sheraton to eat and sleep, you will pay.


“That is what we are saying, those things that are liable to VAT do not affect the masses and they need to understand that.


Nigerians need to understand that VAT is a consumption tax, If you do not consume Hennessy, Champaign and others, you will not pay,’’ she said.


Commenting on the seminar, she said that the major focus was to get people talk on various issues as it concerned VAT, Stamp duty Act among others.


She added that the seminar was part of the institute’s advocacy programme to support government policies and programmes.


“We organise this periodically to tackle issues and elicit people’s comment and possibly advise government on issues and policies,” she added.


Also, the Executive Secretary Joint Tax Board, Prof. Abiola Sani, said that effort must be made to educate Nigerians on the VAT.


He said that the proposed VAT of 7.5 per cent was not targeted at the ordinary Nigerians adding that government’s efforts to increase local revenue through VAT should be commended.


“We need to get people pay tax; the consumables that will affect the ordinary Nigerians have been removed from VAT.


“Stakeholders need to keep educating Nigerians to understand all issues concerning taxation in the country for economic growth and development,” he added. (NAN)


EMAF/NNO/DCU

Edited by Nick Nicholas/Donald Ugwu

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Economy

Abuse of tax incentives, multiple taxation are impediments to taxation system – CITN

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The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), on Monday said multiple taxation and abuse of tax incentives were challenges impeding development of the Nigerian taxation system.

Dame Gladys Olajumoke, President of the Institute, made this known at the 2nd Annual International Academic Conference on Taxation organised by the CITN in collaboration with Babcock University.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that theme of the conference is: “Taxation and Business Sustainability”.

Olajumoke said that many of the tax incentives granted by government had not achieved commensurate benefits for the economy, saying that in some cases, the incentives were abused by investors.

She noted that tax incentives and waivers, if granted at all, should be sector-based and granted through tax laws so as to promote transparency.

“It should also be streamlined with respect to pioneer status, import duty waivers and double dipping for income exemption. Incentives should be sector-based and industry-0focused to ensure a level playing field,’’ she said.

Olajumoke lamented the abysmal tax compliance culture in Nigeria, which she said must be reversed to enhance the taxation system in operation.

According to her, in the midst of the abysmally low tax compliance levels, there is also the cry from corporate entities about double and multiple taxation.

She said that businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) had been greatly affected.

“Regrettably, the current tax-to-GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio, a global measure of tax effort of 6.1 per cent is rather too low.

“This ratio is one of the lowest in the world compared to 23 per cent in Ghana, 25 per cent in South Africa and 39 per cent in Brazil, to mention a few. Evidently, we have an abysmal tax compliance culture,’’ she said.

Olajumoke noted that without the creation of wealth, people could not pay taxes and recommended that multiple taxation and earmark taxes should be reduced to the barest minimum.

“Multiple taxes make Nigeria uncompetitive for investments and make the tax system extremely cumbersome.

“It should be noted that there is no quick fix or magic wand to increasing tax revenue.

“We need to sustain investments in critical national sectors such as power, transportation, agriculture, education and security. These are required to stimulate productive activities and attract investments,’’ she said.

In his keynote address, Prof. Ademola Tayo, Vice-Chancellor, Babcock University, said governments needed to implement sustainable economic policies and business models which would foster favourable environment for SMEs.

Tayo said that all economic policies must be built around sustainability concept in which tax policy was not an exemption.

According to him, the importance of tax regulations cannot be over-emphasised.

He noted that the political, economic and social development of any country depended on the amount of revenue generated for the provision of infrastructure in that given country.

“One means of generating the amount of revenue for providing the needed infrastructure is through a well-structured tax system.

“Tax is a major player in every society of the world. The tax system is an opportunity for government to collect additional revenue needed in discharging its pressing obligations.

“It offers itself as one of the most effective means of mobilising a nation’s internal resources,’’ Tayo said.

Prof. Gowin Emmanuel, Chairman, Conference Committee, said the conference provided opportunities for participants to deliberate on economic issues and proffered solutions to enhance the taxation system.

Emmanuel said the committee looked forward to generating insightful and robust ideas that would be beneficial to government at all levels, particularly in tax administration, revenue generation and proposed fiscal policy initiatives.

 

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Economy

Ex-CITN boss recommends Swedish tax system to FG

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Prof. Teju Somorin, former President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), on Thursday called for emulation of the Swedish tax system by the Federal Government.

She made the call while delivering the Fourth Inaugural Lecture of Caleb University, Imota, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Somorin, the first female professor of Taxation in Nigeria, spoke on the topic: ‘Tax Payers; Voices, Disconnect and Tax Compliance’.

According to her, a 2016 survey shows that even though the Swedes are noted for high personal taxes, the Swedish Tax Agency (STA) scores high in customer service and contributes positively to the society.

“One might expect that the STA that grabs about a third of the average hardworking Swede’s pay packet would be public enemy, but ‘No’.

“The truth is that the STA is so popular that results of poll after poll are showing that it is trusted and respected.

“A 2016 survey by a market research institute, TSN Sifo, concluded that the STA has the fifth best reputation, scoring highly for its customer service and for contributing positively to the society,” she said.

According to her, tax authority is expected to treat a tax payer with courtesy and consideration at all times, and will, in normal circumstances, be of assistance in tax matters.

She said the tax office must strive to help the tax payers to understand and meet the tax obligation, and explain to them the reasons for decisions made by the tax authority concerning their affairs.

Somorin, who is also the immediate past President of the West African Union of Tax Institutes (WAUTI), urged the CITN to act according to its charter in ensuring that the roles of tax advisers are professionally carried out.

The professor of Taxation explained that a good tax system should ensure that taxes were passionate and certain rather than being arbitrary, and the method of paying taxes convenient for tax payers.

“This includes offering to tax payers electronic systems for filing and paying taxes, merging taxes with the same tax base, allowing for self assessment and having a clear and efficient process for refunding VAT cash and undergoing tax audit,” she said.

Somorin noted that a good tax system must also have the support of its tax payers and the  tax advisor who would assist them.

According to her, without this support, widespread voluntary compliance will be hard to achieve.

She identified factors that could affect the level of tax compliance as economic, technological and legal developments of tax administration, as well as trust in government and the satisfaction which tax payers get in return.

 

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CITN inducts 560, harps on professionalism

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The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), on Thursday, inducted 560 new members to practice as certified chartered practitioners in the field of taxation.

Mr Cyril Ikemefuna, the President of CITN, said at the 40th induction ceremony of the Institute in Lagos that the exercise was in compliance with the mandates and Acts of the Institute.

He said it was also a mechanism to grow the tax administration system of the country.

According to him, the induction signifies commitment on the part  of the inductees to become ambassadors of the profession at all times.

He, therefore, urged the inductees to uphold the principles and integrity of the profession in their service to the society.

Ikemefuna said the inductees should contribute their quota to the move toward ensuring effective and efficient tax administration system in Nigeria.

The CITN president said the tax system needs to be improved upon.

He assured of commitment of the Institute to providing the necessary support to ensure smooth operation of the newly inducted members.

“The induction programme provides the opportunity to formally certify tax professionals who have met the requirements to practice as chartered tax administrators.

“As a chartered tax professional, avail yourself with opportunities of seminars and workshops to constantly be updated with new developments and methodologies in the profession.”

Ikemefuna listed some of the Institute’s recommendations that could be adopted to address identified issues in the 2019 Federal Government Budget.

According to him, there is potential for government to increase productivity by investing in education with emphasis on quality and quantity, as a way of driving the 2019 budget.

He said that as a matter of urgency, the government should push for the passage of the Petroleum Government Bill into law, which, as it stands, could potentially release N5 trillion of badly needed investment into the economy.

Mr Gabriel Fasoto, Past President of CITN, said that tax administrators should maintain professionalism in the course of discharging their mandates.

Fasoto, also a Special Guest of Honour at the ceremony, said that a tax professional must display honesty, humility and commitment when dealing with clients.

“I enjoin you to go out there and up the scale of taxation practice and administration in Nigeria and globally.

“Taxation practice is not “settlements”. You need to equip yourself technically: be up to date in tax laws, tax jurisprudence as well as global tax practice. You are to be more driven by expanding the frontier of tax knowledge rather than only the pecuniary interest,” he said.

Meanwhile, a staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Miss Oluwatobi Jennifer, bagged four awards during the induction ceremony.

Jennifer won awards as  ‘Best Overall Graduating Student, Best Overall Graduating female Student, Best Student in Practical Cases and Best Student in Tax Management.

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Economy

Nigerian economy is on `upward swing’ — finance minister

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning says Nigeria’s economy is on “upward swing’’.

Ahmed said this at a symposium organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Abuja chapter on Thursday in Abuja.

The minister, represented by Mr Stephen Medaiyedu, the Deputy Director in charge of Tax and Policy in the ministr, said the economy was not doing badly but all major stakeholders should support the government for the country to emerge stronger.

She explained that as part of government’s efforts to increase non-oil revenue, the present administration had set an aggressive target for increasing tax collection.

According to Ahmed, the tax rate being paid by those that are compliant is lower than expected.

“A robust tax system is a pre- requisite for any economy that is desirous genuinely committed to growth and development.

“Tax collection must grow in line with growth in the economy but this has not been the case in Nigeria.

“This situation was witnessed because of lack of transparency and accountability in the management of our collective wealth in the past,’’ she explained.

Ahmed reiterated the present government’s commitment toward ensuring judicious use of funds through the strict enforcement of the Treasury Single Account policy and zero tolerance for corruption.

She said the achievement of the government’s objective of expanding the tax base for improved revenue collection would be enhanced with the cooperation and support of CITN and other stakeholders.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

 

 

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Lagos Govt harps on taxation for good governance

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The Lagos State Government has urged residents to always pay their taxes, so as to ensure good governance.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the advice on Tuesday while receiving leadership of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) on a courtesy visit to the Lagos House, Ikeja.

Sanwo-Olu said that there was need to get citizens to understand that issues around taxation, apart from being a law, must be obeyed.

The governor said tax was a form of intervention that government could have from people to bring about the delivery of good governance.

”All of our people want services; they want better environment; they want quality health, and they want better education. Also, they want roads, and potholes to be fixed.

”It is only when we also realise that it is a partnership, that the citizens need to meet up with their civic responsibilities for government to be able to implement, and we all have a better living and working environment.

”We are committed to ensure that we bring about good governance, and what we do is to ensure that our programmes and our engagement are for the greatest good and for the greatest number.

“That way we can see the largest impacts of our interventions in socioeconomic activities,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said his administration’s tax drive was not to hurt the residents and businesses operating in the state, but to widen the tax net to get key promises of this administration delivered.

The governor said that the autonomy being enjoyed by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) would not be tampered with.

According to him, the revenue agency has enjoyed unrestrained independence, and this administration will continue to strengthen the agency to achieve its yearly revenue targets.

He said his government had fortified LIRS by prioritising the agency’s monthly subventions and motivated its personnel to drive up efficiency.

”LIRS monthly allocation gets to them as first line charge; I don’t even need to approve before their overhead gets to them.

”We have made everything available in order to motivate LIRS to deliver on its mandate, and we will continue to support the agency for improvement.

”I recently approved an increment in LIRS staff remuneration, because we know how important the success of the agency is to my administration,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The CITN President, Dame Gladys Simplice, said that in spite of the innovative approach deployed by Lagos Government in its tax administration, the state could achieve improved efficiency and growth in its revenue generation.

Simplice urged the state governor to appoint tax professionals as decision makers in strategic government’s departments and agencies.

She said that Lagos must re-invigorate its tax advocacy to capture those in the informal sector.


Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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