FIRS deploys technology to assist MSMEs-Fowler
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it has developed various strategies including deployment of technology to facilitate ease of tax compliance for businesses.
This was disclosed by Mr. Syracuse Ekeji, Director/State Coordinator, Lagos Island, FIRS, who represented Executive Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Fowler on Tuesday, at the Civic Centre in Lagos, during the inaugural edition of the Vanguard Economic Forum series on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Various speakers at the event made presentations on the theme, “The impact of Technology Adoption for MSMEs in a changing Tax Policy and Regulatory Environment”.
He stated: “With all the challenges that we know MSMEs are faced with, we have been able to develop a number of strategies which includes; the introduction of a number of e-solutions, our robust use of ICT, to support in any way we can, to bring the payment of tax to their doorstep such that they can pay from the comfort of their offices or even on any public transport, you can pay your taxes.
“By way of strategies that have enabled us perform and serve you better, we have a long chain of strategies that we have adopted. Our decision to adopt ICT has made the payment of tax easy. As part of the strategies, we have about 6 e-solutions platforms ranging from e- registration, e-receipt, e-payment, etc, all these you can do from the comfort of your home.”
He however lamented that the contribution of MSMEs to the country’s tax revenue has been very poor, adding that it has been on the decline over the past three and half years, from 2015 to 2018.
“On the average over the last three and a half year, MSMEs’ contribution to tax revenue has averaged just 6.7 percent of the entire collection but we can make it better. MSMEs’ contribution to tax collection from 2015 to 2018 was low and has been dropping within the three and half year period.
“We collected tax of N4.027 trillion in 2017. The contribution of MSMEs is on the average of 6.7 percent of the entire period. Instead of increasing, it is going down,” he added. He acknowledged the challenges confronting MSMEs in the country.
“We are aware that you are faced with a lot of challenges, we are also humans as revenue agents but unfortunately we operate under the law and we cannot do anything that is not provided by the law,” he stated. In order to make tax compliance easier for business owners, he noted.
“We have over 30 tax offices in Lagos to make it easier for you to comply with our tax constitution