The initiative by the FIRS to ensure Taxpayers file their annual returns on FIRS’ TaxPro-Max barely a month to the deadline for CIT filing, which was due on June 30, 2021, leaves a bittersweet taste on the lips of taxpayers despite having the intention to provide taxpayers with a seamless return filing and tax remittance process. The TaxPro-Max website was designed with the sole purpose of tax filings (value added tax, withholding tax, withholding vat and companies’ income tax), remittances, and a database for evidencing Taxpayers’ Withholding Tax (WHT) credit position
There is no disputing the fact that a system which incorporates these goals and makes them its bedrock would benefit both Taxpayers and FIRS. However, Taxpayers have not been finding this platform to be a solution provider as expected; rather it has been a cause for multiple trips to tax stations due to the inability to use the website, deficiencies in terms of technicality of the website, lack of adequate sensitization to the Taxpayers on how to use the platform.
The FIRS ought to have held multiple joint sessions with the JTB and Taxpayers prior to rolling out the TaxPro-Max, also, give a longer time for the public to acquaint with the website and its navigation, mandate all taxpaying entities over a significant period to get Taxpayer Update forms submitted and login information sorted out.
We note some technicalities would have been resolved prior to this frenzy in order to meet up with CIT deadline for Taxpayers if an interactive session were held. These include:
- Having clearly stated methods for inputting figures, percentages, upload of schedules.
- Depreciation when uploading the PPE information for CIT purposes is calculated on an automated annual basis irrespective of the month in which the assets were purchased, which ought not to be so.
- The need for a functional 24/7 chat box hosted on the website to help in resolving errors swiftly as well as providing solutions to stranded Taxpayers.
- Upon completion of an assessment (i.e VAT) which includes filing and payment of tax liability, there is a need for a summary page showing you what was filed and what was paid which should serve as proof of performing the tax obligation.
- In respect to the Capital allowance, the system is supposed to have inculcated previous years capital allowance to have a proper carrying balance. This would prevent the current issues of incorrect capital allowance.
- When inputing the PPE, the entry point for disposal of assets is non-functional leaving only the addition of assets as the only viable entry point. This prevents proper accounting of assets disposal.
- The issue of payments made for WHT- when payments are made for WHT uploaded on TaxPro-max, the payment evidence are not evidenced real-time on TaxPro-max.
- Issues surrounding Taxpayer not being able to see from his end the history of Vendors he has remitted WHT on their behalf.
It is our utmost belief that this system with proper fine-tuning and more interactive sessions, Taxpayers can be kept in the loop and properly sensitized. The TaxPro-Max web platform would also ensure Nigeria tax system is better managed to drive up the Nation’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). It also serves as a welcomed development from working with physical files into a cloud-based system for record purposes.
For more enquiries, please contact: Jennifer Ezediaro (firstname.lastname@example.org, +234 906 346 3140), Abimbola Oyebowale (email@example.com, +234 908 341 1615), Emenike Ugwuanyi (firstname.lastname@example.org, +234 806 536 7616), Emmanuel Emereuwa (email@example.com, +234 806 807 1347).