In order to improve tax registration, grow tax database and collection in Lagos, the state government has created a portal for taxpayers and employed residents yet to enrol into the tax base of the state.
About the tax portal: The tax portal is an initiative that ensures ease of tax administration in Lagos State and eliminates cumbersome procedures, allowing taxpayers to monitor and access their tax information. To access your tax details as a registered taxpayer, what you need is your tax payer’s name.
The problem with the portal: While this initiative will ease procedure and help taxpayers monitor their tax activities, it could grant strangers access to the data of individuals and corporate organisations without approval. All that is needed is a tax payer’s name or other company detail, and the tax payer’s ID, email, phone and address will be made available.
Note that the tax portal is still reportedly in a test phase although it is open for the public to see through this link.
Why this matters? The tax portal is coming at a period the state government is looking to expand the tax bracket in the state. Lagos State doesn’t have enough taxpayers, according to Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Samuel Egube.
The total number of taxpayers in Lagos State was put at 2% by Egube. The number represents about 400,000 taxpayers in a state with over 20 million people although this number is not entirely adult population.
Yet, Lagos contributes the highest to the tax generation of the Federal Government when compared to other states. It contributed 70% of the N5.2 trillion taxes collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in 2018, despite not meeting its N6.7 trillion 2018 projections.
What you need to know: The Lagos State government has been rolling out various initiatives to promote tax awareness in the state. It is one of the key revenue generation for the state. Apart from the tax portal, it was disclosed in July that the state was considering using Biometric Verification Number (BVN) to facilitate tax collection and expand tax base. The decision was, however, hit by criticism.
LIRS also issued a Public Notice on June 4th, 2019, informing the public of its intention to integrate the existing Taxpayers Identification Digit (PID) into the nationwide Tax Identification Number (TIN) system with the Joint Tax Board.
Note that the PID is a taxpayer’s identity code issued by the LIRS to taxpayers in Lagos State.