Chamber faults plans by Edo govt to ‘name, shame’ tax defaulters

Chamber faults plans by Edo govt to ‘name, shame’ tax defaulters

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 2:11 pm

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The Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA) has kicked against the plan by the Edo Internal Revenue Service (EIRS) to ”name and shame” defaulting tax payers in the state.

Mrs Aina Omo-Ojeonu, President of BENCCIMA told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Tuesday that the ”name and shame” campaign, was not a good initiative to encourage tax compliance.

”These are difficult times. Some countries gave tax relief to taxpayers in view of economic hardship globally following the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some countries are giving taxpayers rebirth because of the current poor economic situation.

”The name and shame policy is not a good one because times are hard and businesses are finding it difficult to break even.

“Most companies can’t pay workers and some are downsizing. I will suggest that the revenue service should give notices to businesses to pay their taxes within a stipulated time after which penalties can be served to defaulters rather than naming and shaming them”.

She also suggested that taxpayers could be given a discount to pay their taxes within a specific period.

Omo-Ojeonu said that BENCCIMA supports payment of tax.

”Going by the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, people could be given incentives to encourage them pay taxes this period,” she said.

The EIRS on May 5, announced that it would embark on a name and shame campaign of defaulting tax payers, in its renewed drive to ensure compliance with tax laws.

The Executive Chairman of EIRS, Igbinidu Inneh, said the list included owners of hotels, bars, eateries, restaurants, trade associations, as well as lawyers, architects, medical professionals and school proprietors.

Inneh said, “We have resolved to embark on a name and shame campaign, as many proprietors who run viable businesses in the State are culpable for tax avoidance and evasion”.

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