Hotel owners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Wednesday, lamented the problem of multiple taxation which they face in the territory.
Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Hotel Owners Forum, Eze Maxwell Kanu led other members of the association to visit FCT minister, Musa Bello where they lodged the complaint.
He said that there was need for the minister to assist in ironing out the challenge as well as the high rate charged their members over land use contravention.
The monarch and owner of Agura Hotels called for a review of the Abuja Master Plan especially as it concerns hotels and hospitality industry to provide more plots of land to enable the industry to grow.
Responding, the minister said that the FCT Administration has already put machinery in motion to harmonize taxes in the territory so as to reduce the cases of multiple taxation.
He said that one of the areas that have been of great concern to the FCT Administration is multiplicity of the taxes; stressing that the soon-to-be operational FCT Inland Revenue Services, in collaboration with Federal Inland Revenue Service will work out a modalities to harmonize all taxes in the territory.
The minister assured that the administration would sort out all these problems of multiple taxations and give the residents a clear programme and roadmap as to what the collections are supposed to be.
Bello, however, warned that on no condition must any kind of tax be paid into private accounts because taxes are meant for the government.
He said, “One area that has been of great challenge to us is the multiplicity of taxes that FCT residents pay. It’s something that is of great concern and Federal Inland Revenue Service together with the FCT Inland Revenue Service will soon work on what is already being done nationally so that we can harmonize all these taxes
“The ultimate goal is for businesses and organizations to just make one payment to a particular agency and that agency divides the payments to all the others. That way, you don’t have to communicate with five or six different people coming to you and you don’t know who is genuine and who is not genuine. I can assure you we are on the path towards being able to surmount that
“With regard to taxation, I want to clearly tell you now that any person that comes to you and says pay tax into a private account, don’t pay.
Taxation is for government. Even if for any reason, taxes are been collected through consultants and so on, first and foremost, the taxes go to government coffers, and then government pays the consultants. If you have a problem, report to me directly through your Association
“On the issue of the tenement rate and area of the jurisdictions of the Area Councils, particularly AMAC, it’s something that is in the court, so I will not say anything right now. But what we are trying to do will take care of all these and everybody will be carried along.”