• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Nigeria’s tax to GDP ratio 10.86% for 2021, not 6% — FIRS

FIRS leverage technology to capture informal sector in tax net

The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, has announced a new Tax-to-GDP ratio of 10.86 percent for 2021, as against 6 percent previously announced.

Disclosing this in a statement on Wednesday, Nami said that sources which previously put the country’s Tax-to-GDP ratio at between 5 percent and 6 percent, did not consider tax revenue accruing to other government agencies.

“The revision took into account revenue items hitherto not previously included in the computations; particularly, relevant revenue collected by other agencies of government,” the statement read.

e stated that the new ratio was communicated to FIRS via a letter signed by the Statistician-General of the Federation, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, on the 25th of May 2023, following a joint review by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the FIRS, using data from 2010 to 2021.

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Tax-to-GDP ratio is a measure of a nation’s tax revenue relative to the size of her economy as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The ratio is a useful tool for assessing the performance of a country’s tax system, and highlighting its tax potentials relative to the size of the economy. It is the ultimate measure of the effectiveness of a nation’s tax system compared to other countries.

The FIRS boss explained that revenues collected by agencies other than the FIRS, Customs and States Internal Revenue Service were excluded.

For him, this situation was peculiar to Nigeria as most other countries operate harmonised tax system (all or most tax revenues are collected by one agency of government) with single-point tax revenue reporting. As such, all relevant tax revenues are included in the computation of the Tax-to-GDP ratio.

“In order to correctly state the Tax-to-GDP ratio, the FIRS initiated a review and re-computation of the ratio for 2010 to 2021. In recomputing the ratio, key indicators that were previously left out were taken into account. This resulted into a revised Tax-to-GDP ratio of 10.86 percent for 2021 as against 6 percent hitherto reported,” the statement noted.

“It is important to note that the Tax-to-GDP ratio for Nigeria should be higher, but for the impact of tax waivers contained in our various tax laws (including exemptions to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises brought-in by Finance Act, 2019), low tax morale, leakages occasioned by the country’s fragmented tax system and the impact of the rebasing of the GDP in 2014”, he explained.

The FIRS boss implored the government to consider reviewing its policies on tax waivers thereby guarantying increased revenue to prosecute its programmes and positively move the needle of the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio.

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, in his letter to the Executive Chairman of FIRS, described the revision as a facelift to the Tax-to-GDP ratio for Nigeria in comparison with other countries.

He further noted that the NBS had carefully and diligently reviewed the methodology used for computing the revised estimates, as well as the various items that have been included in the new computation, adding that the NBS as an outcome of its review and meetings with FIRS has adopted the new Tax-to-GDP computation.