The commissioner for Finance and Coordinating Economy in Imo State, Dr Doris Anite has promised that with the reforms put in place in the Imo Internal Revenue Service would in the next six months reach its internally generated revenue target.
Dr Anite made this known during the Second Tax Annual Dialogue held in Abuja by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in conjunction with the Joint Tax Board (JTB).
The finance commissioner who was one of the panelists who x-rayed the topic,‘Tax Harmonization for Enhanced Revenue Generation’ stressed on the need for taxes to be harmonized in order to achieve optimum utilization.
She spoke on what she called the incentive system where she advocated for proper revenue attribution in order to encourage more collaboration from MDAS. The commissioner said with the deployment of right technology in every sector in the state, the rewards in terms of IGR would soon be visible for all to see.
“We are very optimistic that in the next six months we should be hitting our revenue target because we are deploying a whole lot of technology in every sector to achieve this. We just recently started collecting education levy under examination development fees through our electronic platforms. It used to be manually collected. We will put our universities on a payment portal. However, it is still work in progress,” she said.
Speaking further on what she met on ground in the state and what is being done, she said “When I came in as finance commissioner and coordinator of the economy, my job was to take care of internally generated revenue. So I had to engage with the MDAs. As coordinating commissioner, I could speak to anybody. We started by looking at their performance and what their revenue target should be based on certain matrix that we put in place. This was to determine the right taxes and who should collect what.”
“To make it easy, we decided to have a central technological platform that would access and generate demand notices. The IIRS sees what is being collected and enforces compliance. In engaging with the MDAs, we found out that there is willingness to support the revenue system. But there was one question they kept asking, how do you incentivize us?
“Because in their minds, the cost of collections only goes to IIRS. The bonuses are paid only to IIRS for collection. So to the MDAs, they say I offer the services, but how come I’m not getting any incentive. This is the area the government is looking at to come up with proper legislation to tackle it. The incentive system is a major area we need to look at and come up with the right policies to encourage collection.”