The Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Taxation Nigeria (CITN) Makurdi district today commenced the first staff annual Retreat with the theme: Taxation for Common Good, scheduled to hold for two days.

The Ag. Chairman Mr. Emmanuel Agema FCTI in his opening address said the retreat is long over due for an institution like BIRS. He added that such a retreat is necessary for the service to rethink issues over and come up with communique that will bring about a rise in the revenue profile of the state.

The revenue boss also stated that his resolve to institute the retreat was born out of the need to leverage on the political will of Governor Hyacinth Iormem Alia to turn things around in the state while bringing the needed development in the state.

Earlier, the Governor, represented by the Hon. Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Mike Oglegba, while declaring the retreat open said the revenue profile of the state is very low and represents less than 10% of the funds available to the state for development.
He added that funds from IGR are therefore highly needed to drive the development agenda of the state.

The retreat which was well attended by seasoned tax practitioners and the academia featured two papers presented by university Dons.

The first paper: Tax Administration, Tax Planning and Tax Management Strategies which focused on the engagement of Non Tax Professional for Revenue Collection was taken by Prof. Paul Aondona Angahar of the Benue State University. According to him, taxation is law and can only be operated within the ambit of the law. Hence the need for careful planning and implementation of strategies that are in line with the laid down legislations guiding taxation.

The second paper: Voluntary Tax Compliance and Taxpayer Charter in the Era of Fuel Subsidy Removal was taken by a professor of accounting, Prof. Sunday Mlanga who emphasized on the need for government to deliberately seek to develop policies that will make taxpayers see the impact of the taxes payed. This he said will bring back the trust in taxpayers and lead to voluntary payments.

Also in an address, the Chairman Chartered Institute of Taxation Nigeria (CITN), Makurdi district, Mr. Sunday Odagba who’s collaboration with BIRS made the retreat a success, expressed his appreciation to the Ag. Chairman and promised the institutions’ support to the course saying it is the right step in the right direction.

The retreat, like any other serious business of professional as were gathered, came up with a 16 points communique to be present to the State Executive Council for onward implementation.

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