Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) said the state’s internally generated revenue jumped to N9,598,504,939.90 in the first quarter of 2021, a feat it credited to its increased adoption of technology and steady blockage of leakages within the tax administration system.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, on Tuesday, the chairman of the state’s revenue agency, Shade Omoniyi, said that the feat was achieved without raising the tax rate, adding that the agency had also made deliberate steps to tackle multiple taxations.
“The Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, in spite of the drive to increase IGR, has not introduced new taxes since the inception of the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq; the required and legitimate taxes due are what is being paid by taxpayers and collected appropriately into the coffers of the State. All revenue lines of the MDAs in Kwara State are same as approved and as provided by existing relevant laws,” she said.
Omoniyi, who said that the KWIRS made N2.9billion in January, N3.0 billion in February, and N3.5 billion in March, added that the total amount of N9.5 billion for the first quarter of the year is the highest figure ever collected by the agency without any extraordinary item at any quarter since it was established in 2016.
She also explained that the drop in revenue generation in 2020 was expected because of the COVID-19 restrictions, saying that the agency adhered to tax break and waivers for businesses during the period, especially as it was on manual operations last year.
She said the hugely manual nature of its operations as of last year meant that its staff were unable to move around to collect taxes as COVID-19 hit harder.
“Notwithstanding, with the gradual easing of the lockdown, revenue generation by the Service again shot up to N4billion in Q3 2020 and N6billion in the Q4 of 2020. Thus, it is made obvious that the low IGR figures in Q2 and Q3 and consequent dip in 2020 IGR performance are solely attributable to the COVID-19 incidence and our contact-based collection which proved quite ineffective while the lockdown lasted. These observations were enumerated in the quarterly revenue collections reports released by the Service in the year 2020.
“The Service has since then not stopped working round the clock to recover lost grounds. Thus, in the first quarter of 2021, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) recorded an Internally Generated Revenue of N9,598,504,939.90, the highest so far in the history of the Service without an extraordinary item.
“This feat of KW-IRS in Q1, 2021 was a great improvement over the N6, 227,099,973.42 raked in, in the last quarter of 2020. It is a reflection of the relentless efforts of the Service in bringing seamlessness to tax administration through automation and introduction of online payment platforms to ease payment of all taxes. It is also a reflection of the harmonized bill recently introduced to serve the following benefits among others: calculates, consolidates and communicates all payable tax revenue and non-tax revenue as applicable to each eligible taxpayer in the state, within any assessment year; Brings all eligible businesses into the Tax net; Stops illegal negotiations between taxpayers and collectors in the ministries or KW-IRS offices and prevents diversion of funds; displays all taxes due for payment by a particular taxpayer to block most of the leakages and educates on double and multiple taxations by showing that a single entity or taxpayer could be charged to different revenue lines depending on nature of business.
“In addition to the harmonized bill, other initiatives have been introduced. This includes re-profiling of our taxpayers, making mandatory the submission of schedules along with remittances; carrying out prompt enforcement on recalcitrant taxpayers, expansion of ticketing model for the informal sector etc. The remarkable growth in the 2021 first quarter IGR is equally an indication that the Kwara State government continues in its efforts to ensure the economic activities of the State recovers fast from the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“KW-IRS will continue to work to ensure improvement in revenue generation; veritable support for the Federal allocation to ensure the State Government meets its responsibilities and the desires of Kwarans. The Service will also continue its collaboration with all MDAs and Stakeholders in the State for effective and efficient collection of all that is legally due from taxpayers. The Service will strategically and systematically play its part by using the most appropriate technology and committed workforce for the growth of revenue for the state,” she said.