Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has said that Nigerians might begin to show evidence of tax payment before they can obtain their international passports.
He was speaking on Monday, at the 136th meeting of the Joint Tax Board, which had the theme: “Increased Inter-Agency Co-operation to Enhance Tax Compliance and Optimise Revenue Collection”, in Abuja.
“We did take a position and I believe it would be implemented in the very near future that before you get any services from the immigration department: renewal of passports etc, you’d have to show that you are a tax payer.
“These things are normal all over the world, In an effort to serve Nigerians and Nigeria better.
“People believe that payment of tax is a burden and I’ll repeat that you only pay tax on income and profits.
“So if you reside in Nigeria and you are benefiting from being a Nigerian resident, it is only fair that you contribute to the system that makes you enjoy that standard of living”, he said.
Fowler also revealed that the FIRS had set a target to increase the individual taxpayer database by 10 million by December 31, 2016.
“I’m glad with our co-operation; we’ve been able to attain 30 per cent of that. We’ve been able to get three million individual taxpayers across the nation.
“I’d like to congratulate Kano State for leading the pack by increasing the database by 944,000 followed by Lagos with 306,000 then Kaduna and Plateau”, he added.