The Lagos State Government on Tuesday announced that it had widened its tax net to include domestic workers and artisans. The Chairman of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, made the announcement at a news conference in Alausa.
He said that the new tax regime was in line with Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode administration’s inclusion of every resident to the growth of the state.
Ogunsanwo said the agency had commenced the process of overhauling the informal sector with a view to ensuring voluntary compliance by all tax payers.
He said the agency had identified three categories of tax payers in the sector.
According to him, they include market men/women, artisans, micro, small and medium-scale enterprises and domestic staff.
He said these categories of people were expected to remit one per cent of what they earned to government’s coffers.
Ogunsanwo said that a directorate had been created in the agency to oversee the sector, while modalities for taxing these categories of people had been worked out.
According to him, the declining national revenue as a result of the fall in the global price of oil and the need for government to provide and maintain basic infrastructure necessitated the regime.
Ogunsanwo said that in addition to the traditional bank portal, new payment platforms, including POS, online and other electronics multi-modal system had been introduced to make it easier for residents to remit their taxes.
He said a review of the tax Form A of the Personal Income Tax Act had also been conducted.
The chairman said the guide notes would be translated into pidgin and Yoruba for all to understand.
He said that disciplinary measures, including outright dismissal had been introduced to check corrupt practices among LIRS staff.
Besides, he said, a customer care desks would soon be created in all the 38 tax stations within the state to enlighten residents.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr Mustapha Akinkunmi, disclosed that despite the harsh economic conditions, the LIRS contributed 79 per cent to the state’s Internally Generated Revenue in 2015.
He said the percentage amounted to over N20 billion in January 2016 alone.
Also the state’s Attorney General, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, said the ministry of justice would provide adequate support to LIRS in its quest to ensure that tax payers complied with tax laws.