By Bright Bassey
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Tunde Fowler, Monday, announced Nigerians might be compelled to show evidence of tax payment before obtaining passports.
He said this at the 136th meeting of the Joint Tax Board in Abuja, hinting that Nigerians renewing an old passport or requesting a new one must show evidence of being a tax payer.
“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 and it would help us 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.’’
Fowler stated the agency has targeted increasing its individual taxpayer database by 10 million by December 31st 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 said.