FIRS, Pedabo proffer solutions to shipping, aviation taxes

Unless the Federal Government and other stakeholders address challenges bedevilling the nation’s maritime and aviation sectors, projected benefits may remain elusive, industry players from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Pedabo Professional Services revealed recently at an event organised in Abuja.

The industry players expressed concerns over the impacts of multiplicity of charges, levies and taxes in the sectors, stressing that there was need to address the situation for the sectors to grow.

The experts, who insisted that adopting same presumptive tax rate of six per cent as in other industries may be counter-productive in the shipping and aviation sectors, added that consolidation of accounting mechanism as well as a single revenue authority remain sacrosanct for the country.

While Pedabo at the event insisted that challenges plaguing the industry were man-made, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami was on the other hand asking the Federal Government to block leakages in the accounting and revenue segments of the economy through consolidated accounting mechanism and a single revenue authority.

Nami said there was need to consolidate or aggregate the country’s accounting mechanism to ensure taxes paid are accounted for by a single revenue authority in the country.

To him, the development would ensure that taxes collected on behalf of the government are remitted to fund budgetary allocations, social amenities as well as critical infrastructure.

Managing Partner for Pedabo Professional Services, Ajibade Fashina had earlier stated that the shipping and aviation sector can leapfrog contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Speaking on blocking the leakages in the country’s tax system to boost remittances, he said the law is certain and is being improved regularly.

“The Finance Act that is being reviewed on a yearly basis, they (FIRS) have identified the leakages and loopholes. They are blocking those loopholes and that is what should be done.

“Maybe government needs to think more around what the money is being used for. Who is collecting what? Where are so many of those funds? Which more or less, form part of the revenue not going into the national purse? I think those are issues that need to be addressed,” Fashina added.

With disputes on shipping and airline taxation between the Federal Government and some operators, a Partner at Pedabo, Killian Khanoba stated that “Nigeria is not alone in the practice of exerting tax on container leasing and ancillary revenues. The dispute with the international lines on the matter is also not isolated to Nigeria.

“Aviation and shipping sectors in Nigeria are characterised by multiplicity of charges, levies and taxes payable by operators. This must be addressed for the sector to grow. The Nigerian tax regime for the sectors obviously needs a makeover to guarantee growth.”

Managing Consultant at Pedabo, Albert Folorunsho noted that the Federal Government needs to include in extant regulations issues related to taxation for shipping companies operating within or around the country to simplify collection.

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