House of Representatives Advances Bill to Establish National Tax Crimes and Oversight Commission

The House of Representatives has taken a significant step towards addressing revenue leakages in tax payments by passing a bill for second reading. Sponsored by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu and eight other lawmakers, the bill proposes the establishment of a national tax crimes and oversight commission.

The commission aims to tackle irregularities in tax assessment, reporting, and remittances, prevent tax-related crimes, and close loopholes in the tax administration system. It also seeks to protect taxpayers’ rights and ensure fair and efficient tax collection.

During the debate on the bill, Representative Felix Uche Nweke highlighted the importance of taxation in generating public revenue and fostering national development. He emphasized the need for a fair, just, and efficient tax administration system that builds confidence among citizens and encourages compliance.

Nweke pointed out various forms of revenue leakages, including under-assessment, tax evasion, and non-remittances of collected taxes. He also noted the challenges faced by small businesses due to overassessment and multiple taxation, which hinder their growth and survival.

To address these issues, Nweke proposed the establishment of an independent tax crimes and oversight commission. He emphasized that the commission would focus on preventing and combating tax-related crimes, ensuring taxpayer rights, and prosecuting corrupt tax officials.

Nweke clarified that the commission would not duplicate the functions of existing tax appeal tribunals or act as a law court. Instead, it would oversee tax administration, protect taxpayers’ rights, and promote fairness and transparency in the tax system.

Drawing inspiration from similar organizations in other countries, Nweke underscored the need for an effective oversight mechanism to address taxpayers’ grievances promptly and encourage compliance with tax laws.

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