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FG urged to introduce Zero Income Tax

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5th From left, President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) Bar. Samuel Agbeluyi, followed by the Honoree, the first female and 5th President of CITN Mrs Adebimpe Balogun and other dignitaries at the event in Abuja on Monday.

By Victoria Onehi

To help reduce the economic burden on Nigerians, a tax expert and first female President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) Mrs Adebimpe Balogun, has proposed a Zero Income Tax to the governnmnt.

She disclosed this at the 2nd Distinguished Personality lecture in  her honour organised by the Society of Women in Taxation (SWIT) held in Abuja on Monday.

In her paper titled, ‘Zero Income Tax: A case for Social Responsibility Taxation’, the tax expert Mrs Adebimpe Balogun, said a zero income tax regime refers to a tax regime in which individuals and households are not required to pay taxes on their income.”Instead of taxing personal income, government may rely on other sources of revenue such as consumption taxes,property taxes, corporate taxes and other forms of taxation.”

Balogun said the benefit of the proposal is that it will increase disposable income for citizens. “By waiving taxes for low and middle income earners,the government puts more money directly in their pockets. This can lead to increased consumer spending which can stimulate the economy and potentially benefits businesses in the state.”

Balogun who used Lagos State as a prototype in her proposal suggested this as threshold of Zero Income Tax.”From my analysis,all Lagos State tax payers earning up to and including N245,000 per month and below approximately N3 million a year,should be exempted from paying Personal Income Tax for a specified number of years.”She said.

The President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation CITN Mr Samuel Agbeluyi, corroborating this said by providing tax breaks, governnmnt will nurture small businesses to grow to become big ones.

“If you have alot of Nigerians operating in the informal sector with a minimum pay,the way to help them grow their business is to give tax breaks. So, once the business grow they will be there at the state and federal level were they can pay tax.” Agbeluyi said.

The Chairman of Session and Presiding Judge National Industriel Court of Nigeria, Justice Benedict Kanyip, alluding to Zero Income Tax regime said with careful planning, Nigeria can leverage Social Responsibility Taxation (SRT) to address socia- economic challenges and foster inclusive development. 

Similarly,the Special Guest of Honour and Chief of Staff to the President,Hon.Femi Gbajabiamila, represented by the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Planning and Research, Mr. Dubem Moghalu, said the theme of the lecture is timely and worthy considering efforts by the present administration to consider various ways to transform Nigerias’ tax regime.

Speaking during the panel discussion,the first female Professor of Taxation in Nigeria Prof Teju Somorin, said the Zero Income Tax as proposed by Mrs Adebimpe Balogun will see the light of the day someday as many ideas suggested by her like the setting up of Society of Women in Taxation amongst others have come to bear.

Also , another discussant and Professor of Taxation and Fiscal Matters,UNILAG Prof Abiola Sanni ,thanked Mrs Adebimpe Balogun for the audacity to propose the Zero Income Tax adding that it will lead to re-distribution of wealth and reduce social inequality.

The National President of the Society of Women in Taxation (SWIT) Mrs Bosede Ikhanoba, said there should be re-distribution of tax income collected from the rich to help the poor if the Zero Income Tax is introduced.

” When you go to the market,you see women selling pepper,petty items and the artisans.They make alot of effort to make a living,these are the categories we are advocating for the governnmnt to help reduce their tax burden.” Ikhanoba said.

She said Mrs Adebimpe Balogun was being honoured as the Life Patron of SWIT as she conceived the idea years ago to be the female arm of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. She thanked her for her enomous contribution to the professional body and for being a role model for other women in the profession.

The Honoree Mrs Adebimpe Balogun is the first female and fifth President of CITN, a position she held from 2001 to 2003.

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