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FIRS gives all tax paying Nigerians until Mar 31, to file personal income tax returns
| March 30, 2012
All tax paying Nigerians have until March 31, 2012 to file their personal income tax returns or face sanctions, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, said. Speaking at a management meeting in Abuja, the FIRS chairman, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, said "the new Personal Income Tax Amendment Act makes it a requirement for every individual tax payer in every state including the FCT to file their self-assessment return. Filing tax returns is an obligation that requires individual tax payers to go to the tax office where they reside to get the form, declare all their income and then pay within two months." She also explained that the FIRS does not collect personal income tax from all tax payers in the country saying, "We only collect from the jurisdiction as defined by the law which is the Federal Capital Territory, staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Armed Forces, Police and others. For those within our jurisdiction, we are also emphasizing the fact that you need to file tax returns by March 31 2012, otherwise you make yourself open to sanctions by the tax authorities. It is either a penalty or option of fine which I will not be able to disclose now." “Within the amendment Act now, there is a sanction for non filing of returns and therefore it is important that we start educating the tax payers if they are not aware to be aware now that they must file the personal assessment returns. Lagos has started educating their tax payers and I think other states have started too and also the FCT too because they know that for the Personal Income Tax Amendment Act the jurisdiction changes from state to state because we don’t collect Personal Income Tax from all tax payers in the country."

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OMOTAYO, J. A.    Lagos, NIGERIA    April 02, 2012
the late Jamaican musician, Peter Torch, sang: "Every one is crying for peace, eh; None is crying for justice". He went further that he wanted no peace but equal right and justice.

May his soul rest in peace, amen. How does this song apply to the sissue of taxation in Nigeria? It is very simple. I shall illustrate with three examples:
First, tax is required of every working adult. A working adult is an employed adult. And employment has its root in job creation. Job creation is wealth creation.

Wealth creation is revenue factory. Revenue factory is tax compliance. But in NIgeria, millions are unemployed. How the millions unemployed will get jobs to do has never been part of the thinking of those in government.

Buildings, workshops, market stores, etc have been pulled down by those in governemnt to plant flowers in Lagos, Rivers, Edo, etc. These are sources of daily income destroyed. No one is thinking of the pain and agony that those affected are passing through. If their blood could be converted into cash, some government officials would recommend all in the name of revenue generation.

Second, tax is needed for development. This implies prudence in spending by governemnt. In 1998, the total budget was N260 billion. In 1999, it rose to N330 billion. These values included for reccurent and capital expenditures, debt servicing and statory transfers. But today we budget over N2,500.billion for reccurent expenditure alone. What caused such increase, prudence?

In 1999, the total external debt burden was $28.5 billions. By 2007 even when all debts were serviced from year to year and we had $12 billions in debt forgiveness, we had the following results. We paid $18 billions and GBP 3.5billions ($5.5 billion approx), we were still owing $3.5 billions. Simple Arithmetics show that $12 + $18 + $5.5 + $3.5 = $39 billion. But we were told that our total debt was $35 billion before the debt forgiveness and debt repayment.

What caused the difference in all these Arithmetics, patriotism? And many more!

God save Nigeria.
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