From LAYI OLANREWAJU,Ilorin
The executive chairman, Kwara Internal Revenue Service, KWI-RS Mrs Shade Omoniyi has stated that it intends to broaden it’s tax collection base by deploying IT solutions in capturing and profiling eligible tax payers in the informal sector of the state.
She made this disclosure on Tuesday while also announcing that it generated N9,598,504,939.90 in the first quarter of 2021, a feat it credited to its increased adoption of technology and steady blockage of leakages within the tax administration system.
Mrs Omoniyi also stated that the figure is highest ever revenue capture in the same period since the inception of the tax agency and further estimate the figure as 30 percent of projected revenue for the year 2021.
The tax collector admits that the bulk of the money comes from the formal sector but explains that the informal sector has proven difficult to bring under the tax net because of non availability of data.
“This is why we are taking the initiative of identifying our tax payers through several means such the use of ticketing model.
“This is especially so with the transport sectorbin the state,” Omoniyi said.
She added further that it is currently modelling a tech application as means of identifying tax payers, delineating and profiling them in terms of capabilities and area of operation.
“This will further help us know which areas in the state is doing well in tax,” she added.
Speaking on figure generated in Qtr 1, the chairman said that the amount is the highest ever collected by the agency without any extraordinary item at any quarter since its founding in 2016.
Addressing a news briefing in Ilorin, the state capital, KW-IRS executive chairman also explained that the drop in revenue generation in 2020 was expected because of the COVID-19 restrictions, Kwara’s uncompromising adherence to tax break and waivers for businesses during the period, and the fact of its operations being majorly manual as at last year.
She said the hugely manual nature of its operations as of last year meant that its staff were unable to move around to collect taxes as COVID-19 hit harder.
Omoniyi said the feat was recorded without any new raise in the tax rate, even as the agency made deliberate steps to tackle multiple taxation.
“Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) since inception has operated a manual tax administration system.
“This means assessment and collection of relevant taxes payable to the State Government from both KW-IRS and other MDAs are on contact basis.
“Despite this, the Service has recorded steady IGR growth over the years. Upon its assumption of office in October 2019, the Service’s new management began working tirelessly to sustain this momentum.
“These efforts culminated in the IGR growth from N23billion as at 30thSeptember to N30.7billion as at the end of the year, 2019.
“The Service did not rest on its oars as various revenue and cost-cutting initiatives were immediately implemented to shore up the State IGR while it worked assiduously to automate its revenue and tax administration processes.
“The various revenue leakage blockages paid off when in quarter one of 2020,the Service generated N7 billion.
“However, with the spread of the Corona Virusand subsequent lockdown of the State by the government towards the end of March and up until May, the State IGR plummeted to N2 billion.
“Given that the state’s economy was greatly affected by the lockdown and the State’s collection system was still contact-based as at this time, it was only to be expected that no serious activities would happen in the revenue space for that period.
“It is also known that Kwara State was one of the States who followed the Covid19 protocols fully which is a main factor for the Q2 2020 revenue performance.
“In addition, you may recall that the State was adjudged as one of the highest in performance and proactiveness in the fight against Covid19 on all indices by various monitoring entities.
“Recently, there was a similar feat of the government in the administration of the Covid19 vaccination where the State topped all other States,” Mr Omoniyi said.
Giving a breakdown of the money, she added that in January Kwi-rs generated 2,984,312,074.60; February 3,058,746,474.21; March3,555,446,391.09, totalling 9,598,504,939.90.
“This feat of KW-IRS in Q1, 2021 was a great improvement over the N6, 227,099,973.42 raked in, in the last quarter of 2020,” she said.