The Chairman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS), Dr. David Nzekwu has appealed to begin to pay their taxes and levies.
Dr. Nzekwu made the appeal while inaugurating the Tax Compliance Monitoring Team (TCMT) at Revenue House, Agu-Awka.
“We inaugurated a compliance team that will go street by street, shop by shop to confirm that every person doing business in Anambra pays their taxes as expected by law.
“So, we are appealing to everybody to cooperate with them,” he said.
The AIRS Chief said that there was need for a different way to get many traders in Anambra to pay their taxes and levies.
“Anambra State is largely where a lot of people are doing business and there are individual business owners everywhere on the streets.
“Part of challenges we are facing is being able to get these individual business owners to pay their taxes.
“As at last year, we had about 7,158 business owners out of the number, only 1.2 million are paying taxes in the State.
“So we reasoned that for us to change this situation, we have to use different ways of taxation.
“What we have decided to do is to create three different groups. The first group will be working from our office and their focus is on new tax payers.
“The second group will use data that is in our system to generate demand notice for these new tax payers.
“While the third group will be going from house to house, shop to shop, business to business, street to street to verify that people are paying their taxes,” Dr. Nzekwu said.
He also explained how the team was going to deal with challenges the various market associations executives will pose for them.
“We have written to all market associations and all ministries in the state. We have also written, especially to the Ministry of Trade and Commerce informing them of our programme.
“There is no provision in tax laws for market associations to collect taxes. It is the duty of tax collectors to collect taxes and tax inspectors to verify if people pay taxes.”And the whole power of the tax collectors and tax inspectors are contained in tax laws.
“The Chairman added that the idea of an importer of millions of goods paying only N3, 000 as tax together with small shop owners in the market had to stop.Dr. Nzekwu enjoined the team to take the job seriously and thoroughly verify to know who and who had settled their taxes and levies.
Speaking at the inauguration, AIRS Head of administration, Mr. Okwuchukwu Obichukwu advised members of the team to be polite while approaching the taxpayers.
The 24 staff members of AIRS drawn into the TCMT have been split into three groups to cover the three senatorial zones in the State.
BY SUNNY A. DAVID