Lawmakers Eye Establishment of Tax Crimes Commission to Recover Missing Funds

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On Wednesday, a plan to create a National Tax Crimes and Oversight Commission to address income leakages in the nation was approved for second reading by the House of Representatives.

The proposed legislation, which has eight co-sponsors, is titled “A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Tax Crimes and Oversight Commission to Address Revenue Leakages Emanating from Non-payment and Under Payment of Taxes, Irregularities in the Assessment, Reporting and Remittances of Taxes to Prevent and Combat Tax Related Crimes, to Ensure the Protection of Taxpayers Rights and for Related Matters.” The bill’s speaker, the deputy speaker, and eight other lawmakers are behind it.

Hon. Felix Uche Nweke, a co-sponsor and leader of the debate over the commission’s overarching principles, has stated that, once formed, the commission will investigate and report on tax assessment, reporting, and remittance irregularities; it will also fight against and prevent tax-related crimes; and it will seal any loopholes in the country’s tax administration system.

The corrupt officials and employees of the tax agency conspire with ordinary individuals to under-assess taxpayers, leading to underpayment, as pointed out by the lawmaker.

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He added that tax evasion is another kind of leakage, particularly when it’s tolerated and even encouraged by the tax collector and by international firms doing business in the country.

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According to Nweke, leakages can also happen when the government does not get the full amount of taxes that are due to revenue diversion by dishonest tax officials. This happens when the collected taxes are not sent to the government.

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