The Active for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) programme, in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), organised a webinar themed: “Q&A on CSOs’ tax responsibilities and compliance”. The aim was to increase the understanding and knowledge of tax responsibilities, improve compliance and enhance the engagement between civil society and FIRS. The virtual event brought together over 370 participants including CSOs, government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), donors, the media and others.
CSOs are obligated to operate within various legal and regulatory frameworks, including the companies income tax act; the companies allied and matters act; the money laundering act; and pension laws. However, these regulations are complex for many CSOs. For example, some CSOs have shared that they do not understand the different types of returns. And although CSOs are tax exempt, they are required to submit corporate income tax returns, as well as PAYE tax, withholding tax and VAT annually. Due to this confusion, CSOs sometimes fail to comply with these guidelines and default on payment.
For ACT, the event served as an opportunity to work collectively to challenge and enhance the regulatory environment for civil society actors so they can exercise their rights fully and without unnecessary or arbitrary restrictions.
“This collaboration will increase CSO compliance. CSOs are now expected to understand the overview of taxation, the incentives available, and general tax obligations.”
Dick Irri, Coordinating Director, Compliance Support Group, FIRS