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Only technology can drive ease of tax compliance in Nigeria—PwC

The Head of Tax, PwC Nigeria, Mr Taiwo Oyedele has called on both states and the federal government to deploy relevant technologies in their drive for improved compliance to tax if they want to raise their revenue without stress.
Explaining issues during a presentation at the firm’s Tax Academy, on the theme ‘Technology and tax: Navigating tax authorities’ digital platforms for effective tax compliance’, he decried that “It is a contradiction: you need tax money to serve your citizens better, but you make the process very difficult”.
However, he agreed that considering the role of technology in modern economy, only use of technology can help Nigeria to reduce tax compliance costs in order to encourage more people to pay taxes.
Oyedele, while calling governments to simplify the process of paying taxes through technology, he lamented further that “Nigeria doesn’t rank very well on the ease of paying taxes. Nigeria’s tax revenue to GDP ratio is one of the lowest in the world, yet it is one of the most difficult places to pay tax.
“So, if you simplify it by using technology, what that does is you encourage more people to pay. There is something about compliance cost; it is something that does not benefit the government and the taxpayer. It is actually the money the taxpayer pays that doesn’t get to the government. So, both the taxpayer and the government have an objective to reduce that cost.
The PwC chief argued that “Everything we do today is impacted by technology and technology is making things better, faster and more cost-efficient and cost-effective. So, it is no longer acceptable for authorities to live in the past.
“Even though Nigeria is starting late, they say, ‘Better late than never. So, the idea now is to make technology the platform, not an option, for tax compliance in terms of calculating your taxes, making your payments, and filing your returns.”
He therefore encouraged all tax agencies at all levels of government to adopt technologies in driving tax compliance and administration so as to change Nigeria’s horrible experience in paying their taxes as and when due.