By Musa Baba Adamu
A bill seeking to enhance the Nation’s revenue generation system through the establishment of a National Tax crimes commission (NTCC) to prevent and combat tax crimes, protect taxpayers rights, amongst others has passed second reading in the Senate.
The bill which passed first reading when it was initially introduced to the Senate on Tuesday, 8th March, came under the first order of the day during the consideration of bills at Wednesday’s Senate plenary received an unanimous voice vote in its favour to scale through its second reading.
Sponsored by the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu the Tax bill titled “ an Act to establish the National Inspector General for Tax Crimes Commission,2022 (SB. 951) is designed to address irregularities in Tax remittances , non-payment , under payment of taxes and to establish an NTCC to protect taxpayers rights by serving as the Tax Ombudsman.
According to the Abia North Senator, the Bill if eventually passed into law will protect Taxpayer rights as the NTCC will address the lacunas in the Tax administration system in the country by making the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) accountable and also create avenues for Taxpayers to make complaints over tax related matters.
Leading the debate on the Bill, Kalu disclosed that with the establishment of a National Tax crimes commission asides being the first of its kind in the country will also address taxpayers’ grievances and complaints promptly and without any hassle, and provide an effective redressal system.
Urging his colleagues to back the bill , The Abia North Senator said that through the creation of the National Tax Crimes Commission, criminal Tax investigators will be empowered with their unique forensic accounting skill sets, to be well positioned to combat national security threats and pursue illicit financial flows that were either derived from tax evasion, international tax schemes, cybercrime, or terrorist financing.