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Coalition urges Bayelsa govt to review tax policy to entrench fair taxation

By News Express on 21/09/2015

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A coalition of civil society groups under the auspices Tax Justice Advocacy and Governance Platform has called on Bayelsa State Government to overhaul its tax policy for greater effectiveness.

The group made the call during a press conference on its activities on Sunday in Yenagoa

It urged the state Ministry of Finance, Board of Internal Revenue and Local Governments to set up a committee to partner with the group to work toward achieving tax justice in Bayelsa State.

Addressing newsmen, Princess Elizabeth Egbe, Bayelsa Coordinator of Tax Justice Advocacy and Governance Platform said the group comprised Tax payers, tax administrators, civil society groups, trade unions amongst others.

She said that group which seeks to promote fair and transparent tax system had observed that the present tax system in the state was adversely affecting micro small and scale operators in the state.

“The tendency for the government to pursue the raising of revenue as much as possible from taxes in a manner that ignores the right of citizens is therefore a looming possibility especially as power has the ability to corrupt, if not checked.

“When tax becomes strictly revenue driven, the tendency for injustice becomes higher.

“Tax justice proposes that every citizen pays all the taxes they are expected to pay according to their ability, to the appropriate authourities and jurisdiction with ease and convenience in a timely manner.

“It also requires the state to collect all available taxes from all taxable sources, block all possible channels of leakages like avoidance, evasion and corruption through strict enforcement of tax laws,” he said.

Egbe explained that a recent survey conducted in Bayelsa indicated Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were overburdened by the complexity of tax rates and regimes, multiplicity of taxes, number of taxes, high cost of compliance.

Others are proliferation of regulatory and collecting agencies, timing of tax reporting and payment, tax base amongst others.

She noted that it was therefore obvious that an inclusive tax system is required to promote MSMEs in Bayelsa.

According to Egbe, Tax Justice Advocacy and Good Governance Plattform seeks a balance between the obligations and the rights of the state to collect taxes and the duties of the citizens to pay taxes.

•Photo shows Princess Elizabeth Egbe, Bayelsa Coordinator of Tax Justice Advocacy and Governance Platform, and Mr. Torki Dauseye, Secretary of the group . . . during yesterday’s press conference in Yenagoa.


Source News Express

Posted 21/09/2015 05:01:06 AM


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