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Multiple Taxation: FIRS partners MATAN for remittances from informal sector

Executive Chairman (FIRS) Muhammad Nami unveils MATAN identity card at the stakeholder engagement meeting with the Association in Lagos. Photo: FIRS

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has partnered with the Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN) to collect and remit Value Added Tax (VAT) to the FIRS from the country’s markets, especially in the informal sector.

MATAN has a membership of over 40 million traders across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory and the biggest player in Nigeria’s market space.

In a statement on Thursday, the Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman, FIRS on Media and Communication, Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola said the details of the FIRS’ partnership with MATAN was disclosed at a stakeholders’ engagement programme on the VAT DIRECT Initiative, held in Lagos State.

The VAT DIRECT Initiative (VDI) is a program designed to foster collaboration between the FIRS and the marketplace, especially the informal sector, in the collection and remittance of the Value Added Tax (VAT) using technology.

Mr Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman FIRS said the initiative was the first of its kind, and that it was crucial to revenue generation and also to eliminating multiple taxation, especially from the informal sector.

Mr Nami who is also the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) further stated that the government was worried about problem of multiplicity of taxes, and that the Service and JTB were working on various modalities to address the challenge.

He said the partnership has laid a very good foundation for the government to address the issue of multiple taxation and extortion by tax officials, tax agents and touts in the marketplace.

He also said the Service would collaborate with security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, to deal with illegal tax collection by touts in markets.

Executive Chairman FIRS, Muhammad Nami surrounded by Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN) enumeration vendors at the stakeholder engagement meeting in Lagos. Photo: FIRS

FIRS Executive Chairman noted that the success of this collaboration would lead to increased revenue for the country….“the successful outcome of this collaboration and additional revenue accruable will have multiplier effects on all sectors of the economy as the government will have more revenue to provide the needed social amenities and infrastructure in critical sectors”.

He also explained that to ensure transparency and accountability of the project operations, a combined monitoring and evaluation team comprising both organisations would be formed.

The FIRS Executive Chairman also unveiled an Identity Card to be given to each trader upon enumeration; the card contains their tax identification number and other personal details.

The VAT Direct Initiative Stakeholder Engagement was attended by the Secretary of the Joint Tax Board, representatives from Deposit Money Banks, Iyalojas of Markets across the country, members of various trade clusters, representatives from all major markets across the country, as well as officers of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu