By Oluwafunke Ishola
A tax expert, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, has called for constitution amendment to reduce the number of taxes imposed by each level of government to not more than 10.
Oyedele, the Head, Tax and Regulatory Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), made the suggestion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.
He said that the National Assembly should exploit the ongoing review of the constitution to solve the issue of tax harmonisation and multiple taxation in the country on this.
“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.
“I recognise that it is a federal system of government.
“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,” he said.
The tax expert urged the Federal Government to simplify tax payment toward boosting the country’s revenue and improving its global ranking on ease of paying tax.
“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.
“I know government is working on it; I hope the efforts would be sustained and yield results positively,” Oyedele said.