Less than 17 percent Edo residents pay tax

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An official of the Edo State Board of Internal Revenue (BIR),  Emmanuel Usoh, has disclosed that less than 17 percent of residents of the state pay personal income tax to the government.

Barr. Usoh disclosed this Tuesday in Benin at a one-day inception workshop on strengthening oil revenue management in Niger Delta, organized by the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ where he represented the State BIR Chairman, Vcjief Oseni Elama.

According to him, about 14 percent of these income tax payers are those who pay their personal income tax through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) of the organized public and private sectors, while the remaining three percent are those who pay their income for processes of registration with the government.

He explained that personal income tax was not the same as levies paid on businesses.

He explained that the new tax rebate bill recently signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan, which favors lower income earners, was partly responsible for the sharp reduction in the state internally generated revenue.

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According to him, the new tax regime meant a reduction of between 40 and 70 percent of tax deductions from government workers who fall into the affected categories.

While religious and civil society organizations in the state are exempted from taxation, Barr. Usoh explained that whoever works and earn salaries in such organizations must pay their personal income tax.

The one-day workshop attracted participants from states of the South-South geopolitical zone.

—Jethro Ibileke/Benin