Nigeria and Niger Republic can boost both countries capacities towards revenue mobilization through mutual administrative assistance, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, has said.
Nami who spoke while receiving the Director General of the Niger Republic Tax Authority, Ousmane Mahamane, said both countries’ revenue authorities could work together to deepen their relationship and share tax information.
Mahamane was at the FIRS headquarters in Abuja on Monday with his delegation on a visit to explore areas of mutual cooperation on tax management between the two countries.
Acknowledging the long-standing relationship and shared culture between the two countries, Nami said it was important for the FIRS to work with its Niger Republic contemporary given the “presence of high-net-worth Nigerian individuals and companies trading in Niger
He said the presence of these Nigerians and their businesses have significant implications collection and administration, which are of great interest to the FIRS.”
The FIRS Chairman also highlighted the working relationship enjoyed by the Service and the Niger Republic Tax Authority in the past, particularly on the community rule on double taxation and transfer pricing.
Nami said there was the need for further cooperation in the areas of sharing of tax information and mutual administrative assistance, especially in the face of increase in trans-border tax issues within the context of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Nami used the occasion to share with his Niger Republic counterpart some of the success stories recorded by the FIRS and the contributors
responsible for these milestones.
“We have focused on non-oil tax collections and indirect taxes, particularly value added tax (VAT) as well as on the deployment of technology for the automation of FIRS’ processes and procedures for effective tax administration and greater revenue yields, including e-stamping, e-registration, e-filing, e-payment, e-receipt, e-Tax Clearance Certificates, automation of Stamp Duty and VAT, the deployment of VATrac—an automated VAT filing and collection system in the wholesale and retail sectors—and the deployment of a home-grown, integrated tax administration system – the TaxPro Max,” he said.
“One of the contributing factors to our improved revenue collection is the taxation of the digital economy through the implementation of relevant policies, legislations and administrative processes for the collection of taxes (both income taxes and VAT) from the digital economy. This ensures that Nigeria is able to collect taxes on non-resident companies that derive income from the Nigerian market, without physical presence. This further ensures tax equity for local businesses,” he added.
Also, the FIRS boss said “the Service has evolved into a data-centric organization, leveraging on data in revenue forecasting, planning, tax policy formulation and driving compliance and enforcement.”
Besides, he said one of the contributors to the FIRS successes was the exchange of information from other regional and global tax authorities, both internally and in other countries as well as the FIRS being a customer-focused institution with measures in place to make voluntary compliance easier than ever for taxpayers.
For Niger Republic DG, Mahamane, there was the urgent need for international tax cooperation between the two institutions.
He noted that his Tax Authority was seeking a relationship with the FIRS that would cover cross border trade, the oil sector,
telecommunications, digitalization of tax procedures, exchange of tax information, assistance with tax audit, separation of administrative procedures, modernization of tax administration and human capacity development.
Commending the FIRS Executive Chairman for his “outstanding performance” in mobilizing over N6.405 trillion in revenue for Nigeria.
Mahamane said he and his agency would be ready to learn from the success story of the FIRS in building his country.