• Thursday, July 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FIRS adopts digitisation to boost revenue mobilisation

fowler-Federal Inland Revenue Service

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), following the passage of the finance bill by the National Assembly, has adopted digitisation to boost revenue mobilization as well as tax collection in the country.

Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman, on Thursday said that promoting digitisation was key to boosting revenue mobilisation considering the state of information and communication technology uptake globally as well as the size of Nigeria’s need for revenue for development financing among other needs.

“Efforts are on to increase revenue in the country. We have started the process of linking up customers’ bank verification numbers which we hope to be completed by January to increase tax revenue. We also see the need for the digitized process”.

“Working with all revenue agencies, we want to ensure that we get everyone captured in the tax base. We still have some businesses that are not paying taxes and this must stop.”

Fowler speaking at the 3rd annual conference of the Nigeria Tax Research Network (NTRN) in Abuja titled “Revenue Challenges Online and Offline: Bridging the Digital divide in an Analogue Economy”, said that bridging the digital divide was critical to the development of the Nigeria economy considering the nation’s need to increase revenue base.

“Considering the volume of economic activities associated with businesses like Uber, Amazon and our own Jumia and Interswitch further confirms that the digital space is new ‘gold’ in terms of revenue generation and tax administration must be alive to this fact”.

“It is with this in mind that FIRS has designed and deployed electronic tax services (e-services) to ensure the automation of tax processes for the purpose of the improvement of transparency, ease and speed of tax administration for both taxpayers and tax administrators,” he said.

The Chairman further said that the importance of the conference cannot be overemphasized as it presented an opportunity to brainstorm and articulate initiatives for the broadening of the tax net and strategies geared towards ensuring optimized service delivery.

“I wish to reiterate FIRS’ commitment to the support and furtherance of research and allied activities with the capacity to stimulating economic development, effective tax administration as well as the discharge of all or any of its statutory functions under the FIRS Establishment Act. To this end, the improvement of FIRS’ capacity with regard to the taxation of economic activities within the digital space is essential”.

Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, Chairperson, NTRN, in her remark said that recognising the impact of digitisation in any economy was key to its development, saying it promotes revenue generation, as well as contribute to sustainable development.

“Having identified the revenue challenges in Nigeria, we need to take advantage of digitisation and harness technology to boost tax collection and revenue generation”.

“This conference presents a forum for the discussion of current ideas, new trends and future prospects of revenue collection,” Fowler said.