Professional bodies regulating tax practice have been asked to lead conversations on matters of tax policy and tax laws in the country.
Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Muhammad Nami gave this charge on Thursday, while hosting a meeting of the Council Members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), and the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) to discuss the implementation of an MoU on standardisation of tax practice in Nigeria.
The executive chairman, while calling for a value-based leadership approach from the councils, urged the professional bodies to work hand-in-hand with the Service to deepen the FIRS institutional framework through qualitative reporting and effective representation of their clients.
“Our professional bodies need to speak on matters of tax policies and tax laws, especially on proposals to yearly Finance Bills. We also urge you to help the Service to deepen the institutional framework through quality reporting and effective representation of clients by our professional colleagues.We need to stem the tide in improving financial reporting to reduce the spate of ‘copy and paste’ financial reporting systems as we experience today.”
He explained that on the part of the FIRS, the tax authority had adopted renewed strategies to tackle financial reporting concerns.
The FIRS boss noted that the FIRS had created new departments such as the Intelligence, Strategic Data Mining and Analysis Department, the Special Crimes Department, the Tax Incentives Management Department and the Emerging and Special Taxes Department, which he stated are at the forefront of unravelling financial reporting issues through data mining.
He also noted that the FIRS alongside State Inland Revenue Services is collaborating with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to build a database to improve tax investigation.
Other strategies include the accreditation of tax consultants and auditors in the FIRS, the review of data from Automatic Exchange of Information as well as increased enforcement actions.
The Presidents of the three bodies, Professor Benjamin Osisioma of ANAN, Tijjani Musa Isa of ICAN, and Adesina Adedayo of the CITN commended the FIRS Executive Chairman for showing leadership in pushing for and enabling a resolution of the squabbles between the three bodies.