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PWC canvasses simpler tax process for enhanced compliance

PWC Nigeria has stressed the need for tax administrators to simplify tax payment process in Nigeria, to increase compliance level. The Head of Tax, PwC Nigeria, Taiwo Oyedele, while speaking at the firm’s Tax Academy in Lagos, on Wednesday, said Nigeria’s tax revenue to GDP ratio ranked among one of the lowest in the world. Oyedele expressed worry over the enormous challenges taxpayers face in the process of paying taxes in Nigeria, underscoring the need for simpler process through the use of technology.

He argued that the adoption of technology would fast-track the processes, and ultimately check tax evasion and avoidance in Nigeria.“Nigeria does not rank very well on the ease of paying taxes. So, 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.  

“It is a contradiction when you need tax money, but you make the process very difficult. If you simplify it by using technology, what that does is you are encouraging more people to pay.

“There is something about compliance cost; it is something that does not benefit government and the taxpayer. It is actually the money the taxpayer pays that does not get to the government. So, both the taxpayer and the government have an objective to reduce that cost. That is something that technology does for you.”

He continued: “Everything we do today is impacted by technology, which is making things better and 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. Even when you need your tax clearance certificate in the past, this used to be like rocket science. But with technology, one should be able to get that immediately. We know that these platforms are not perfect yet, so our role as PwC is to help many people to pay their taxes and also paying taxes ourselves,” he added.

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