IMF Asks Nigeria To Improve On Tax Administration To Curb Evasion

Yemisi Izuora 

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has suggested that Nigeria takes new steps to improve on her tax administration.

Taxation, the IMF said is one of the ways the country can improve revenue outside oil. 

Speaking during a press briefing at the on-going 2018  IMF/World Bank Meetings in Bali, Indonesia, IMF’s Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, Paulo Mauro, explained that there is an issue of how  to increase Nigeria’s revenue base, pointing out that the matter was not only crucial, but of utmost priority.

Nigeria should explore ways of increasing revenue outside its traditional base of oil proceeds, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

He said: “We have been discussing over the years with the government, and we see the priorities in tax administration, but there are also aspects of tax policy that would help. So, certainly, in the tax administration, to increase the compliance rate, something that could be done is to increase tax audits and to use e filing to a greater extent. There are data matching exercises that can be conducted.”

He called for strategies to curtail tax evasion and reduction in corrupt tendencies. ”So generally trying to reduce tax evasion and possibly corruption as well, those would be priorities on the tax administration side.”

Mauro said: ”Indeed, we do see this increasing non-oil revenues as a crucial priority for the country.  If one looks at the ratio of interest payments-to-revenues for Nigeria, that is quite high. And certainly, increasing revenues is the way in which one creates the space to do social spending, infrastructure, and other types of spending that benefit economic growth. So clearly, that is a priority.”

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