Digital economy is new gold – Fowler

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it has deployed electronic tax services (e-services) to ensure automation of tax processes for the purpose of improving transparency, as well as easing speed of tax administration for both taxpayers and administrators.

Chairman of the agency, Babatunde Fowler, who disclosed this during his opening remarks at the third Annual Nigeria Tax Research Network Conference, held at the FIRS Training School, Durumi, Abuja, with the theme: “Revenue Challenges Online and Offline: Bridging the Digital divide in an Analogue Economy,” described the digital space as the new gold in revenue generation in the country.

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According to him, it is important that the service improves its capacity in the taxation of economic activities within the digital space.

“The volume of economic activities associated with businesses like Uber, Amazon and our own Jumia and Interswitch is further confirmation of the aptness of the theme. To put it in clear terms, the digital space is new ‘gold’ in terms of revenue generation and tax administration must be alive to this fact.

“It is with this in mind that FIRS has designed and deployed electronic tax services (e-services) to ensure the automation of tax processes for the purpose of the improvement of transparency, ease and speed of tax administration for both taxpayers and tax administrators.”

“These e-services have in no small way contributed to the successes recorded in the last two years, amidst an economy characterised by the effect and aftermath of the recession,” Fowler said.

The e-services, he said are e-Registration for registration of new taxpayers; e-Stamp duty for payment of stamp duties on qualifying documents; e-TaxPayment for payment of all taxes of the Federal Government using Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Remita or Interswitch; e-Receipt for receiving and verifying e-receipts generated for taxes paid through the new e-TaxPayment.

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Fowler stated that the conference is an opportunity for tax administrators to brainstorm on new ideas to broaden the tax net, as well as strategise on optimal service delivery.

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