The Central Bank of Nigerian (CBN) has directed commercial banks to demand for the Tax Identification Number (TIN) from new and existing customers before they can operate their account. This is needed in order to ensure a comprehensive tax system.
This was disclosed yesterday by the secretary of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Lawal Abubakar, at the 131st meeting of the JTB in Abuja with the theme “Promoting Compliance Through Meaningful Engagement Among States,” adding that the essence of the JTB meeting is to discuss the recently approved list of taxes collectable by each of the three-tier of government.
Abubakar explained that the TIN is very important to the tax system because it provides the platform for database for all the tax authorities, adding that compliance is very low because from the beginning when tax payers were required to register for the TIN, the deployments of facilities were not ready.
He said that now, at every state of the federation, the facilities have been deployed and tax payers are expected to go to any tax office to register and be issued with a TIN.
According to him, “We are also using other platforms. For example commercial banks have been mandated by the CBN to request the TIN from customers opening bank accounts before such new accounts can be opened. Going forward, the TIN will also be necessary for customers that are operating existing accounts. It is also tied to many operations of government. For example, before you are issued with a driver’s licence you will also be required to obtain a TIN. As we go on, every tax payer will be required to have a TIN because it is only through that that we will be able to form a comprehensive tax payer database.”
Earlier, the chairman of the board and executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Samuel Ogungbesan, said that the harmonised tax system is already a law and that what they came to discuss is how to ensure that they achieved an effective way of commencing implementation. He said that part of reasons for the meeting was to deliberate on removing what he termed “nuisance taxes” which do not really contribute much to the coffers of government.