RIRS COMMENDS PHCCIMA FOR RIRS DESK AT PHCCIMA, TO COLLABORATE ON BUSINESS DIRECTORY ...AS CHIEF SALEH HAILS RIRS FOR ORGANIZING TAX STAKEHOLDERS MEETING

The Rivers state Internal Revenue Service said it will collaborate with PHCCIMA to produce a Business Directory to highlight and give more insights about businesses in the state. The body also hugely commended PHCCIMA for providing an RIRS Desk space at the Chamber secretariat. This commendation was made by the Executive Chairman Rivers state Internal Revenue Service, Mr ThankGod Adoage Norteh on Friday 21st June 2019 during the RIRS Critical Stakeholders Meeting With the Informal Sector held at the Hotel Presidential Port Harcourt. He described PHCCIMA as an invaluable RIRS partner that has contributed to the tax reforms presently experience in the sector. Speaking about the meeting, Chief Adoage Norteh, said the meeting has become imperative to discuss ways of actualising a new tax plan for the sector, one that will help us eradicate touting. According to him, RIRS is weighing up options on how to make people pay tax without enforcement. He said RIRS has entrenched a verified method of serving you demand notice and leave expecting you to do the needful without collecting cash or touting to bring sanity into the collection process. The event which has in attendance the critical stakeholders of the transporters, traders’ unions, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Transport and the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) among others also witnessed the RIRS boss dismissing insinuations that tax paying in the informal sectors would amount to double taxation, he said his administration will never harass citizens as far as they do the right thing. Norteh said: “The idea of this meeting is to unveil the new tax plan that we intend to carry out through a Committee that will be formed. “It is not like we are not continuing with what we are doing but our focus today is the informal sector. The informal sector is most of these people that do not have organised businesses”. He said the challenge we have had in our system is that not a lot of persons understand what tax is. People think that tax is for some people especially those who are working. “For those who work in the media, your tax is deducted when your salary is being paid, but for persons in the informal sector who makes more money than those working, they think they should not pay tax. The other part is that there is a lot of confusion over what is a tax and a levy. According to him, association dues and union subscription are not tax; If you have to pay something for putting your store somewhere, that is not a tax. That is a levy and if you like, call it dues.Tax is compulsory for everyone that earns income. That is personal income tax. But dues and levies are paid by only those who perform such duties to incur those dues or levies. “There is a lot of noise about multiple taxations. In the Rivers State Revenue Service, we don’t engage in multiple taxations. Multiple taxations have become a thing of the past since we came on board, we have optimized and sanitized the system though we need to do more. And we insist that people should not be harassed provided they do the right thing. Our focus is to see how we can permanently eradicate touting in our state, provide a window for those that are willing to do the right thing by paying tax correctly and prepare adequate penalty for those evading tax.” PHCCIMA President in his remark commended the Executive Chairman of RIRS and his team for organizing this very significant stakeholders meeting and called for greater collaboration even as he emphasized the need for sustained and continuous engagement with stakeholders with a view to addressing critical challenges affecting tax in the state. The highlight of the event was a question and answer session where various informal sector members spoke out about anomalies in the tax system