Welcome to a new age in tax administration as the Joint Tax Board's ("JTB") new Tax Identification Number registration system ("the new system") goes live. The system was developed to consolidate a national unified taxpayers' database.
A pestering issue in the tax administration has been poor tax compliance, difficulty in payment of taxes, multiple taxations amongst others. Tax authorities have taken steps to increase the tax base,1 and at present, Nigeria has a tax base of 20 million persons.2 It has been reported that the taxpayer roll may likely hit 45 million persons in Q3, 2019 as a result of the efforts of the JTB.3 That underscores the need for a central database in effective tax administration.
The New TIN System is a novel initiative of the JTB which presents a consolidated tax database for the entire country.4 In other words, taxpayers' information will be integrated into the central database, and various tax authorities can access the information. For instance, Lagos State issues a Taxpayers Identification Digit (PID) to taxpayers, and further to this initiative, the Lagos State Inland Revenue Service published a notice of its intention to integrate with the JTB TIN. Click here to access our article on the public notice.
Nigeria tax to GDP ratio of 6% is one of the lowest in the world,5 hopefully the JTB innovation will positively influence the ratio. The new system may also reduce the incidences of double taxation since tax information would be more accessible.
1. Such as the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme
2. Chris Agabi, Daily Trust - https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/firs-targets-45m-tax-base-by-q3-2019.html acces
3. FIRS Press Releases- Nigeria's taxpayer roll hugs 45 million as database integration nears completion - https://www.firs.gov.ng/PressRelease/RollHugs45 accessed 12th July 2019
4. Idowu Bankole, New TIN System will bring convenience to the tax payer; boost tax compliance, revenue collection – Fowler, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/06/new-tin-system-will-bring-convenience-to-the-tax-payer-boost-tax-compliance-revenue-collection-fowler/
5. Tobi Awodipe, The Guardian, "Nigeria's Tax: GDP Ratio remains one of the poorest in Africa" https://guardian.ng/business-services/nigerias-tax-gdp-ratio-remains-one-of-the-poorest-in-africa/ accessed on 12th July 2019
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