The acting Executive Chairman of Cross River Internal Revenue Service (CRIRS), Prince Edwin Okon has revealed that efforts are on the ground to go after the 100,000 dormant taxpayers in the state.
He disclosed this during a 1-day workshop, themed “Growing a Sustainable Revenue and Tax Base in Cross River State”.
According to him, “We are going to liaise with Federal Inland Revenue Service, use all the necessary apparatus to be able to get more information about those dormant taxpayers and this is going to have a positive impact on our revenue base.
Federal Government has set up a committee on the collection of all taxes, meaning from federal to local government we are going to have a single tax system where every revenue collected will have to be shared across the three tiers of government, he revealed.
He assured that issues of multiple taxation and so many revenue points in the state are going to drastically reduce in the next few weeks.
On his part, the keynote speaker, Former Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mr Babatunde Fowler, maintained that everybody who resides in Cross River State owes the state that obligation to pay their taxes.
He admonished the tax administrators not to be high-handed and punitive in their measures of tax collection, stressing that when people refuse to pay tax, it is not most times the fault of the government but the tax administrators.
“Some people think that tax payment is against the poor, but that’s far from the truth. The issue of tax payment is an issue that involves everybody.
“You can follow up dormant taxpayers with technology by having a consolidated taxpayers database. Even though the technology is expensive, leverage the existing technology for an increase in tax payment.
Fowler urged the state government to make the state conducive for business to thrive while advising the CRIRS to strive to ensure that the state’s internally generated revenue grows more than the expenditure of the state.
In a goodwill message, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Mike Odere who was represented by Mrs Atim Ekpenyong urged participants to take the workshop seriously, while emphasizing that without a strong revenue and tax system, the state will not be able to carry out serious assignments considering its dwindling federal allocation.
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