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Harmonization of taxes by all levels of government to 10, best for economy—PwC

Leading tax analyst and Head, Tax and Regulatory Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, has said that the best thing to happen to the nation’s tax system is a constitutional review that will not only reduce, but streamline the number of all taxes imposed by each level of government to not more than 10.

In an interview weekend, Oyedele called on the National Assembly use the ongoing review of the constitution to solve the issue of multiple taxation in the country by ending the riots caused by lack of harmonisation.

He said “The way to address the issue of multiple taxation in the country is from the constitution itself because that is where it emanates from”.

“The National Assembly should amend the constitution to limit the number of taxes that each level of government can impose to not more than 10.

Continuing, Oyedele said even though Nigeria is a federal state, “Each government imposes and collects its taxes, but it should not be more than 10. Doing that solves the problem of tax permanently”.

“I observe that the political will is not there for government to reduce the number of taxes. What they do not realise is that countries that collect a lot of money from taxes do not have 150 taxes.

“Many of them have less than 20, the fewer number of taxes you have, the more likely you collect revenue, but they just do not understand that,” PwC expert noted.

He also called on the Federal Government to simplify tax payment process so as to boost Nigeria’s revenue and brighten its global ranking on ease of paying tax, saying “We are ranked number 182 out of 190 on the ease of paying tax index. It is abnormal that a country where they need tax money makes tax payment very complicated”.

“Some of those issues need to be addressed and numbers of taxes should not be many, otherwise, it confuses, creates leakages and corruption.

Oyedele however, revealed that “government is working on it; I hope the efforts would be sustained and yield results positively”.