In the past few weeks, there have been disturbing reports regarding cases of fraudulent tax collection, multiple taxation, inappropriate practices by some Agent Revenue Collectors (ARCs) in addition to distressing reactions by citizens and residents to the current tax regime in Benue State ranging from the vandalization of BIRS billboards by Okada riders in Makurdi on the 6th of March, 2016 to the most recent incident of the beating of BIRS – Agent Revenue Collectors in Kwande Local Government Area.
We unequivocally denounce all of these incidences and reiterate our stance on adherence to the rule of law. The current dire nature of the economy and the pressing need to widen the State's revenue base has given rise to an unprecedented push for increased taxation activities; but this should not be used as an excuse to flagrantly abuse the law. It is worthy of note that impersonation of public officials or their representatives, destruction of public property and evasion of taxes are criminal offences and perpetrators of such acts should be prepared to face the full wrath of the law as can be testified to by some of the culprits involved in the Makurdi billboard vandalization incident.
As previously stated, the Benue State Revenue Administration Law 2015 (as amended) was already in place before my assumption as the Executive Chairman of BIRS. All the current Management of BIRS has done is activate certain tax items that are within the confines of the law and were hitherto largely unexploited in order to boost the State's IGR.
In response to several reports of violations in tax collection procedures, one of the measures BIRS has put in place to check these activities is the provision of dedicated hotlines - 0815 811 1110, 0815 911 1110, 0909 355 5552, 0909 665 5555 as well as social media channels including the BIRS – Taxpossibilities Facebook page, our twitter handle - @Taxpossible, twitter hashtag - ‪#‎taxpossibilities‬, email – and website – to handle enquiries, feedback and other suggestions. We ardently urge the public to use these mediums to communicate with us.
To further support our commitment to our mandate and Benue State, we have taken the liberty of publishing a comprehensive list of our current Agent Revenue Collectors (ARCs) in several local publications and on social media, the taxes they are assigned to collect and their respective rates. It should be of note that there is a laid down process of tax collection which entails serving a demand notice first after which collection commences when the notice period has elapsed. I would like to state here that Citizens and Residents are fully within their rights to demand for proper identification from Agent Revenue Collectors and should feel free to directly engage the BIRS on any of the provided channels concerning incidences of violation or if further clarification is necessary.
One of the major tax items being pushed in this tax regime is the Presumptive Tax under Personal Income Tax for the Informal Sector (this includes traders, okada riders and commercial bus drivers). Since people under this tax bracket do not usually keep proper records of their annual income, BIRS utilized the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) 36(6)/JTB Rates for this taxpaying group. In keeping with our Pay Lines of Taxpossible and Pay Small Small, this rate was broken down to N50 per day. The presumptive tax is not to be confused with any other fee as in the case of the Biometric registration of Okada riders in Benue State.
This biometric registration which was agreed on by BEMOA and BIRS, carries a one-off fee of N1,650 (One Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Naira) and was initiated to act as a check against activities of miscreants who hide under the guise of Okada riders to perpetrate crime and also to assist in generating a tax history for Okada riders in Benue State. All duly registered Okada riders will be issued security cards, reflective jackets et al as enshrined in page A77 of the Benue State Revenue Administration Law 2015.
We would like to use this opportunity to urge citizens and residents of Benue State to remember they owe a civic responsibility to the State through the payment of their taxes even as they demand for more service and accountability from Government.
Mrs. Mimi Adzape - Orubibi
Executive Chairman - BIRS
THE IMPERATIVES OF TAX: WHY WE MUST BE COMMITTED - Mimi Adzape - Orubibi THE IMPERATIVES OF TAX: WHY WE MUST BE COMMITTED - Mimi Adzape - Orubibi Reviewed by Link Naija on 09:27:00 Rating: 5

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