Bauchi State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS)has Introduced Automated System to Check Illicit Financial Flows, Tax Evasion and leakages.

Executive Chairman, Bauchi State BIRS, Mr. Yakubu Isa.

In an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the fifth annual tax conference of the West African Union of Tax Institutes (WAUTI) in Abuja Wednesday, the Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Yakub Isa, spoke on essence of paying tax and approaches recently adopted by Bauchi State BIRS to ensure compliance and accountability in Tax collections and remittances.

” Tax is a required payments of money to governments which are used to provide public goods and services for the benefit of the community as a whole”, he stated.

In response to a question to what Bauchi State BIRS, doing to check mate incidence of porosity in tax collection, evasion and submission.

“In Bauchi State, we have been able to introduced a direct payment system, an automated payment of tax through banks and POS as well online transaction. These are to enable us block leakages within the system, while making tax payment easier and convenience for tax payers. They have been quite successful. I can tell you it has helped build confidence within the industry as all collected are directly remitted electronically into government account”, he responded.

He further said that Bauchi State BOIR is presently topping up their game in terms of documentation and record keeping, to enable it capture informal sector in its database and that issue of those unrealistic charges mentioned are being reviewed.

The conference’s theme was on the ‘Relevance of Base Erosion and Shifting (BEPS) to the Illicit Flow of Funds from Africa.” chaired by Mr. Theo Dekonty Joseph, The President of the Liberia Institute of Tax Practitioners.

Other Sessions held at the conference include:
(1) The impact of Illicit Flow of Funds from Africa on the Economies of African States.

(2) The Role of Tax Compliance in addressing the Illicit Flow of Funds from Africa.

(3) The Role of Double Taxation Agreements in the Regional Integration of West African States.

(4) The effects of Country by Country reporting of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) on Transparency and Tax Administration in West Africa.

However, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alain De Souza, (duly represented) in her address at the conference, said the harmonisation of tax legislations of ECOWAS’ member states was a necessity for the attainment of the objectives of the ECOWAS Treaty as well as the realisation of the common market.

“In anticipation of the dwindling revenue, ECOWAS has developed a fiscal transition programme, which has comprehensive reform strategies to support and strengthen the capacities of tax administrations in the member states to mobilise domestic revenue.

West Africa Union of Taxation Institutes (WAUTI), an Institutes which house tax practitioners and administrators from across West Africa. Its core objectives among other things are , to develop and enhance the Taxation profession in West Africa and to promote the development of common technical and educational guidelines, professional ethics and standards in member-bodies. As well stands as a center for the development and dissemination of information concerning taxation standards and practices in West Africa, provide encouragement for and assistance with the formation and development of national taxation bodies; and provide a forum for the professional development of member-bodies through seminars, symposia, congresses and interchange of ideas and experiences.

Participants at the conference include members of  International Tax related Professional Bodies; Staff in Control, Operations, Compliance and Inspection Departments of  Banks; Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Legal Officers of Banks; Staff of Finance and Accounts Departments of Non-Banking Institutions; and Officials and Staff of Tax Authorities, etc.

The conference opened up space to strategize and map a way forward with regard to implementing the recommendations of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa.

By Pamela James- National Enquirer.

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