By JIDAUNA DARING
The Chairman of the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service (PSIRS), Mr. Dashe Arlat has stated that educating the populace on the need to pay tax was the only way to improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the State.
Mr. Arlat stated this in a chat with newsmen in his office in Jos, Wednesday.
He said it was the desire of the PSIRS to support the sustainable economic rebirth of the 3 Pillar Policy Thrust of the ‘Rescue Administration’ in Plateau State, saying that there was no economy that can stand without an income, adding that the income is no doubt used for the development of the state.
He maintained that the PSIRS would not relent on its efforts to increasing the revenue profile of the state.
The Chairman noted that the PSIRS was at the beginning of this year given a target of 12.4 billion, living other component with about 5.9 billion to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), adding that the PSIRS immediately hit the ground running by initiating activities that would move the state at the advantage stage in the revenue collections.
Mr. Arlat told Journalists that the Service has identified about seven key areas that would further improve the IGR of the state, adding that staff of the Service were made to think outside the box, saying that the number one key results areas among others was to expand the personal income tax payable to the state.
He said in the past, PSIRS dwelled so much within Jos and Bukuru, but later discovered that there were potential areas in all the 17LGAs of the state which need to be exploited as far as the revenue business was concerned.
He added that it was on that note that the PSIRS created 12 Zonal Offices, 3 districts with staff deployed to such offices, stressing that tax payment was a constitutional matter.
Mr. Arlat stressed the need for the Service to have effective revenue enforcement and compliance, and therefore there was need to educate citizens of the state consolidated law on revenue, saying that the law was clear about what is expected of the people to do on taxation.
He emphasised the need for accurate reporting declaration from the tax payers, and posited that every allowances was taxable, adding that tax payers were also engaged in stakeholders meeting in order to educate them on tax issues.
He noted that the structures on ground in the Service were not good enough, and that has necessitated the creation of more offices across the state, saying that the Service would continue to educate the people on the value of paying tax.
Mr. Arlat affirmed that PSIRS has recorded tremendous increased in the revenue collections, pointing out that over 11.8 billion from January to August 2019, as according to him the areas of focus for Service areas for more IGR include; agriculture, tourism and mining, adding that they would continue to look for more ways of increasing the state IGR.
The Chairman disclosed that Governor Lalong has recently directed MDAs to be responsible for their up keep by exploring ways of generating revenue, adding that the creation of Road Traffic Management Agency would help in controlling the revenue collections from the transport sector in the state.
Speaking on drivers licenses, Mr. Arlat said that it was compulsory for every car owner to have driving license, adding that October 3, 2019 was going to be a day of operation “show your driving licenses” nationwide.
He commended the media both print and electronic for always publicising the activities and programmes of the PSIRS, saying that the service would continue to carry them along in all its activities.
He then sued for accountability and transparency among staff of the Service to enable it get the desired result, adding that the 3 districts created have also been provided with court for litigation cases.