Kwara Revenue Agency says no double taxation in Kwara
By Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin
The Management of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) has described as false and unfortunate claims by the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) in the state that the agency is imposing double taxation on its members, introducing new taxes, or blocking them from registering their students for external examinations.
It would be recalled that NAPPS had on Thursday staged a peaceful protest to the state Ministry of Education alleging the KW-IRS of killing private school owners in the state with double taxation, among others.
A statement by the agency’s Head, Corporate Affairs, Titilayomi Ogunwale, said KW-IRS “operates based on its establishment law and global best standards”, adding that the agency has not introduced any new tax to NAPPS, any corporate body, or individuals from 2019 to date.
Ogunwale said: “For the avoidance of doubt, tax assessments for NAPPS and others are still as inherited from the days of Board of Internal Revenue (BIR). Rates on land charges for each school, of course, depend on their individual landed property sizes, year of acquisition, use, location and other variables that are clearly stated in the law and (now) listed in one single document for ease. No new item has been added. The Service has, in fact, asked NAPPS to report anyone who approaches them to pay for anything other than had long been the norm.
“It is to be noted that while many members of NAPPS are up to date in their revenue payment, quite a number of them have arrears to pay till date. It is the global best practice that access to certain public services is tied to the tax status of the customers. Since the days of BIR, NAPPS members have always been required to present their evidence of tax payment while registering their students for external examinations. It is therefore unfair for NAPPS to present such a requirement as a new policy under this administration. It is not.
“Regardless, the Service has asked NAPPS members that are not up to date in their tax obligations to submit their payment plans (a roadmap) as they proceed with registering their students. We believe this is fair enough. In fact, this gesture is not available in many other States. Tax payment is an obligation on every taxable citizen and organisations. That is the only sustainable way that the government gets revenue to serve the public.”
She said the agency has no power to stop a statutory obligation, which tax payment is, adding that where a taxpayer suspects a wrong or unfair assessment, they have the right to seek a review and this is a right that KW-IRS accords everyone while amicable resolution is found.
Ogunwale noted that KW-IRS enjoys excellent relationship with NAPPS and its other publics, adding that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency, with the governor’s approval, extended 30 percent tax waivers to NAPPS and many other bodies to help them cope with the situation.
The Service has, therefore, enjoined NAPPS and other corporate bodies to continue to work with it as the statutory body set up to mobilise resources for the development of the State and welfare of the citizens.