Only 7,000 persons pay tax in Anambra beyond PAYE workers- Govt

Anambra State Government has expressed concerns over the unimpressive number of taxpayers in the state.

Chairman, Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, David Nzekwu made this known in an exclusive interview with our correspondent.

Recent days have seen the state intensify its Internally Generated revenue drive through onslaught against revenue thieves and introduction of the State Social Identity Number (ANSSID).

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that Anambra with a population of over 5 million people, has an estimated 198,000 businesses, with over 1.2 million persons engaging in trading activities.

Nzekwu said the although the state has been able to increase the number of taxpayers in the state from the paltry 2,000 in 2017 to 7,000 in 2019, it is still a far cry from what the state should be having in its tax net.

According to him, this shows that a very large quotient of the state’s population is not paying tax.

“These are worrying signs as tax constitutes a major source of government revenue. We have been able to raise the state’s IGR to #26.2 billion annually but this is not enough. We want a situation where the state’s IGR will be enough to cater to the Recurrent expenditure of the state and we have surplus to even plunge into Capital works. If all taxable individuals and entities are captured in the tax net, we will be able to achieve that and even more,” said Nzekwu.

The Anambra Tax Chief said what the state intends to arrive at is a situation where more people are captured and they pay lesser taxes and not to increase the amount paid as taxes.

He said the ANSSID was introduced not just to assist in tax improvement but most importantly, to assist the government with data to plan for the wellbeing of the citizens.

Nzekwu explained, “We have made ANSSID a requirement for every transaction in the state so that people can see the need to register. Data is key in whatever thing the government is doing. It is appalling that there was no data as to persons in the state before now. From 2018 when we came on board to the end of 2019, we have collected about 300,000 data sets for individuals and on a daily basis, that number increases as more people register.”

Nzekwu further revealed that working with the Attorney-General of the State, they have been able to establish revenue courts in all 21 Local Government Areas of the state to handle tax offenders and other revenue issues.


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