5th November, 2022
The Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) is working on the adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the analysis of taxpayer returns.
A tax return is a form filed with a tax authority on which a taxpayer states their income, expenses, and other tax information for a given period for the purpose of complying with the tax laws.
The Executive Chairman of the Service, Dr. Zaid Abubakar stated this at the inauguration of the KADIRS Tax Dialogue in Kaduna on Saturday.
The theme of the dialogue is “Voluntary Tax Compliance, a Fundamental for Social Contract and Service Delivery”.
He said the new technology would empower the service to actively monitor taxable activities in the informal economy, and therefore maximize collections.
“Many studies have confirmed that the informal sector in Nigeria, is several times bigger, and harder to tax than the formal sector.
“The RPA is a step that will surely place us ahead of the curve, as far as revenue collections are concerned,” he said.
According to him, the Service will continuously deploy other state-of-the-art Information Technology (IT) solutions that block leakages and misappropriation in revenue administration.
He said the IT solutions so far deployed, had significantly improved staff productivity as well as enhanced taxpayer experience at every touchpoint where they interact with KADIRS.
“One of such innovative IT solutions is the Central Billing System, and Big Data Single window, which provides a 360-degree view of every single revenue stream in Kaduna State.
“This empowers taxpayers to file returns online, without a single paper, or physical presence in our tax offices, and on the other hand, allows us to collect taxes due from those returns electronically.
“It is a revolutionary process that simultaneously improves compliance and simplifies the collection,” he said.
Abubakar said the Service would soon finalize the onboarding process of all the state’s revenue-generating agencies on the platform.
This, according to him, would mean that every single kobo, due to Kaduna State, in assessment and collection, would be tracked and accounted for, more accurately.
“As part of revenue mobilization efforts, we are gathered here today to discuss ways of collaboration, to improve voluntary tax compliance in the state.
“As we may all be aware, voluntary tax compliance is the pillar upon which all other revenue generation strategies thrive. Without it, every other strategy may fail, and governance may be interrupted.
“The challenge of tax avoidance greatly hampers revenue mobilisation.
“It is, therefore, imperative that all stakeholders partner to build the requisite capacity, and strategy, and rethink the approach to revenue generation and collection,” he said.
The partnership, he said, would efficiently curb the menace of tax avoidance, and that resistance would not only improve IGR but also governance and service delivery at all levels.
The KADIRS boss said the state currently has an estimated population of about nine million, out of which three million people are estimated to be of the active and productive population.
He noted that the 2022 States-of-States data, put Kaduna State Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 9.3 billion U.S. dollars.
“The state is also acclaimed to have one of the highest residents of high-net-worth individuals, being the political capital of the North.
“With all these potentials, how much has the state been able to extract in revenues to win ourselves off the federal allocation? He asked.
Similarly, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami described tax dialogue as a “multi-sided communication channel” that enables every view of taxation to be aired and considered.
Nami said the dialogue ensures inclusiveness in the design and implementation of the tax system, thereby engendering a spirit of collective ownership that promotes voluntary tax compliance.
He further said tax dialogue provides an avenue for pooling expert ideas on tax policy formulation, reviews of tax laws, and strengthening tax administration.
“Government is constitutionally bound to guarantee citizens, the right to life, safety, peace, security, property, and act in the best interest of the citizens.
“To discharge its duty, the government must provide public goods – infrastructure, social amenities in sufficient quantity, the citizens also have a duty to provide the needed resources to provide public goods,” he said.