The Joint Tax Board (JTB), in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the 36 State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIRs) has identified the automation of tax registration activities in Nigeria and eradication of double/multiple taxation as some of the key benefits of the new electronic system of Taxpayer registration initiative called Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
Nigerians from all walks of life at both individual and corporate levels have been urged to go to their nearest tax office and collect their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) immediately and start enjoying the privileges of having the TIN.
The TIN will bring Nigeria's tax administration and practice in line with global best practice; enhance taxpayer identification and registration; minimize leakages in tax collection; facilitate information sharing between various tiers of Government; create a more conducive environment for investors and ultimately inspire greater confidence in Nigeria's taxation system.
The Acting Chairman of the JTB, Alhaji Kabir Muhammad Mashi pointed out that "The Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is a platform which will harmonize taxpayers' identification and registration in Nigeria. It will create closer linkages between the various tax authorities in Nigeria which is a cheaper and more convenient means of creating an efficient and effective Tax system for the entire country.
"This Tax registration process ensures that each taxpayer has a unique number to give him and the authorities concerned easy access to information about his tax status anywhere around the country, thus avoiding incidence of double or multiple taxation among other things. The Taxpayer Identification Number - TIN is unique to each tax payer and may be quoted for all Tax purposes nationwide."
The TIN initiative of the JTB strategically aims at creating a national database of all taxpayers that links all relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian tax administration and ensure a performance that is at per with world class standards. Harmonizing the taxpayers database will by extension lead to the possibility of closer linkage and cooperation between the Tax administrators and various institutions in Nigeria to achieve greater information sharing and increased revenue generation.
It must be noted that by law, the TIN and Tax Clearance Certificates are required for various reasons including government loans, foreign exchange, application for Certificate of Occupancy/plots of land, trade licenses, award of contracts, import or export licenses, registration of motor vehicles, stamping of guarantor's form for passports, application of market stalls, vehicle registration, application for land/approval of building plans, confirmation/election to public office, registration as a contractor, registration of limited liability companies/business names and many others. It is therefore in the interest of every Nigerian to get their TIN number.
The tax administration system in Nigeria over the years has been burdened by challenges ranging from non-identification, registration, poor documentation, multiple taxation and non-compliance of taxpayers. `The new TIN program was designed to address these issues, replace the old error prone manual registration process, enhance voluntary compliance by tax payers and provide a basis for better planning and developmental budgeting purposes. It will also widen the tax base of the country through the accurate registration of all eligible taxpayers in the country.
Alhaji Mashi also further explained that "The Joint Tax Board (JTB) has been mandated to provide efficient, effective and innovative solutions to proper tax administration practices while maintaining a tax friendly environment through effective and efficient flow of information in order to discourage double/multiple taxation and other manual tax administration related problems.
"We believe that TIN is a more convenient and cost effective means of achieving these goals. It is also in the overall interest of all Nigerians both in the short term and long term. For example, once a Taxpayer has a TIN, he can use this unique number to gain access and manage his records from any state. And enjoy all the benefits that go with it. It is easy, free and convenient and it engenders the right tax behavior. We encourage every eligible Nigerian to get their TIN at the nearest Tax authority office"