The Rivers State Internal Revenue Service, (RIRS) has stepped up efforts towards collaborating with the Port Harcourt Chambers of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture, PHCCIMA, in order to produce a Business Directory which is intended to highlight and give more insights about businesses in the state.
RIRS also commended PHCCIMA for provision of an RIRS Desk space at the Chamber's secretariat located at Garrison in Port Harcourt.
The Executive Chairman Rivers State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. ThankGod Adoage Norteh, commended PHCCIMA during the RIRS Critical Stakeholders meeting with the Informal Sector.
He described PHCCIMA as an invaluable RIRS partner that has contributed to the tax reforms being presently experienced in the sector.
Chief Adoage Norteh, said the meeting has become imperative to discuss ways of actualizing a new tax plan for the sector, one that could help prevent touting. According to him, RIRS was considering options on how to make people pay taxes without enforcement. He said that RIRS had entrenched a verified method of serving businesses and companies in the state demand notice and leave expecting them to do the needful without collecting cash or operate through touting. According to him, the approach will bring about sanity in the collection process.
The RIRS boss seized the occasion to dismiss insinuations that tax paying in the informal sectors would amount to double taxation, he said his administration will never harass citizens as far as people were committed to doing the right thing.
He said that the idea behind the meeting was to unveil the new tax plan that intend to carry out through a Committee that will be formed.
According to him “It is not like we are not continuing with what we are doing but our focus today is the informal sector. The informal sector is most of these people that do not have organized businesses”.
He attributed challenges in the system to lack of understanding of what tax is all about.
People think that tax is for some people especially those who are working.
“For those who work in the media, your tax is deducted when your salary is being paid, but for persons in the informal sector who make more money than those working, they think they should not pay tax. The other part is that there is a lot of confusion over what is a tax and a levy.”
According to him, association dues and union subscription are not tax. Putting the records straight he said,” if you have to pay something for putting your store somewhere, that is not a tax. That is a levy and if you like, call it dues. Tax is compulsory for everyone that earns income. That is personal income tax. But dues and levies are paid by only those who perform such duties to incur those dues or levies.
“There is a lot of noise about multiple taxations. In the Rivers State Revenue Service, we don't engage in multiple taxations. Multiple taxations have become a thing of the past since we came on board, we have optimized and sanitized the system though we need to do more. And we insist that people should not be harassed provided they do the right thing. Our focus is to see how we can permanently eradicate touting in our state, provide a window for those that are willing to do the right thing by paying tax correctly and prepare adequate penalty for those evading tax.”
PHCCIMA President in his remark commended the Executive Chairman of RIRS and his team for organizing a significant stakeholders meeting and called for greater collaboration in future.
The meeting had in attendance critical stakeholders of the transporters, traders' unions, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Transport and the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA).