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Ondo State Internal Revenue Service, (ODIRS), on Thursday, August 11, 2023 hosted the 2nd edition of the Annual Lecture and Dinner Night of Elizade University Tax Club.
The event held at the ODIRS Hall, Igbatoro Road, Akure had in attendance tax experts and legal luminaries who delivered lectures on: “Bridging Income Inequality Through Taxation and, Taxation as a Cushioning Tool to Money Laundering.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Ondo State Internal Revenue Service, (ODIRS), Mr Tolu Adegbie, who is also the Patron of Elizade University Tax Club, described taxation as a working tool that can be used to curb money laundering in Nigeria if proper implementation framework and collaborations are made.
Adegbie, represented by the Special Adviser to Governor Akeredolu on revenue, Mr Olufemi Feyide, said tax revenues are vital for funding essential public services, such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure development. By evading taxes, individuals and corporations are depriving the government of these necessary resources.
According to him, since tax is consequential of every income made by citizens in a country and money laundering is simply the act of making good, income which were acquired illegally, one can infer that where a tax authority is effective and properly empowered, the tax authority monitors and will have access to every income being made by citizens in the state/country.
His words: “for taxation to help in money laundering, there must be close and intact collaboration among the relevant tax authority (FIRS and SIRS), all major revenue generating agencies (The Nigerian Customs Service, The Nigerian Immigration Service, NNPC, CAC etc), the banks and Financial Institutions through the Central Bank of Nigeria. The tax audit, investigation and enforcement officers of tax authorities should be properly empowered to diligently carry out their duties with eagle eyes to detect any illegality in any income of tax payers, among others.
Besides, the Head of Legal Department, ODIRS, Barr. Adebayo Ogunsuyi who was represented by Mrs Oladayo Omotoso opined that in cushioning money laundering by any means, proper audit, investigation and probe is inevitable, stressing that the extant tax laws in Nigeria has made provision and empowered tax authority to probe into the occupation and even source of income of tax payers.
“The law has made provisions for punitive measures against any citizen who gives false declaration of assets or returns (see sections 95 and 96 of PITA). The institution of taxation in Nigeria has given room for the quick detection of not only tax crimes but also other financial crimes if and only if the provisions of the law are well implemented and executed through tax audit, investigation and enforcement”.
“With the introduction and use of Tax Identification Number for both individual and corporate tax payers in Nigeria, the Bank Identification Number (BVN) has also contributed immensely to help minimize the occurrence of tax crimes and even money laundering in Nigeria”.
In his remark, the Acting Governor of the state, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, commended the concept of tax club across tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Aiyedatiwa, represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Segun Omojuwa also saluted the founder of Elizade University, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo for allowing the idea of Elizade University Tax Club to flourish in the university environment.
“I believe your aims and objectives will be of great benefits to tax generation and administration in Ondo State and Nigeria at large.
8/11/2023 12:00:00 AM
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