Taxation veterans yesterday handed down tall orders to their colleagues never to compromise by negotiating tax with clients but endeavour to develop themselves and keep abreast of goings- on in the field.
According to Mr Foluso Fasoto, a past president of both the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria(CITN) and Association of Proffesional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), a tax practitioner should first embrace tax law and never negotiate tax, while the incumbent Vice President of the Institute, Mr Isaac Adedayo explained that tax professional should be three in one; a tax strategist; a financial planner and a communicator.
The duo, who gave the advice on how to become a better tax practitioner in their goodwill messages in Lagos at a workshop on tax practice management organised by CITN, were unanimous in their plea to members to follow the tax laws .
Going down memory lane, Fasoto said: “CITN came from the blues and took Nigeria by surprise. About 10 or 15 years ago, if you said you were a tax practitioner, only few people would understand then.Only Ijewere & Co , and maybe, two others were engaged in tax practice. Even at that , they were still adding audit to their activities.I am happy that, today, over 500 practitioners have registered for this workshop. I want to implore us that the starting point for tax practitioners is the tax law. If you are a tax practitioner, that is your starting point before you dovetail into judicial precedents and so on. It is not to negotiate tax.”
As for Adedayo, a tax professional should put the practice on his or her lap. “In the tax world, you must be conversant with the law.You must be in touch with the tax administrators. You must be friendly and at the same time fair. Another thing I want to talk about here is value.Increase your value. Most of us are football vans. There are some players that are being sold for $250 million; $145million. That is valuation there. As a practitioner, you should increase your value. So all of us need to work on increasing our values.
“And what you should be asking yourselves are such questions as these:Are you making things happening or are you trying to stop damages from wrecking you? Are you within the right age bracket or are you not turning the right age bracket in your succession plan? Are you improving your talents and skills in the tax profession? Are you managing your image positively? Are you using the media to project your brand in a positive light? Think on these things. My advice for you, as a tax professional, don’t voluntarily allow your brain to stop working. Go ye into the terrain of tax practice and make a positive defence.”
The Chairman of the annual Tax Conference Committee 2020, Dr. (Mrs) Titilayo Fowokan, urged the CITN members to build up themselves: “ As a practitioner, technical skills speak a lot about you; and what you have to offer; what you have to deliver.If you can’t answer a client’s probing questions, you can’t influence such a client. He would simple give up on you.”