Promoting Inclusion and Policy Dialogue on Informal Sector Taxation:
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On August 8, 2017, we presented the Findings of the Research we carried out on Informal Sector Taxation to stakeholders comprising the Lagos State Tax Authorities – Lagos Internal Revenue Service, Local Government Revenue Officials, Tax Experts, Leaders of Grassroots Associations in the Informal Sector, CSOs and the Media.
It was an opportunity for the Grassroots Leaders to express their voice on the tax burden and make recommendations to the Lagos State Tax Authorities. As a result of the dialogue, we have prepared an aide memoire to use as an advocacy tool for influencing the tax policy in favour of a fair and equitable informal sector tax regime.
1. The research found that Informal Sector Workers are not averse to tax payment. In fact, overwhelming majority of respondents claim they pay tax – Isolo (99.4%), Oshodi (97.8%), Ikorodu (97.4%) and Ikeja (99.2%).
2. Over 70% consider the tax/rates/tariffs as very unfair with a lot more maintaining that the rates are constantly changing – Isolo (93.8%), Ikorodu (90.8%), Oshodi (85.10%) and Ikeja (50.8%).
3. Overwhelming majority of respondents do not know how the rates are calculated – Isolo (100%), Oshodi (93.1%), Ikorodu (92.6%) and Ikeja (92.2%). In the same vein, majority feel that their voices are not heard on issues of taxes – Ikeja (70.3%), Isolo (67.9%), Oshodi (66.6%) and Ikorodu (64.1%).
4. On the issue of transparency, respondents noted that they are not aware of how much is collected by the Council or how the money is spent. Very negligible respondents (less than 5%) acknowledge that there is transparency and accountability.
5. To improve transparency and accountability, 78.2% feel that government should publish revenue accounts monthly; 67.6% suggested monthly radio announcements of revenues; 63.8% suggested monthly publication of planned expenditure while 56.2% also recommended monthly radio announcement and monthly publication of planned expenditure.
Strengthening the Voice of Grassroots Leaders of Informal Sector Associations on Taxation:
To enhance the capacity of Leaders of Informal Sector Grassroots Association to negotiate for a fair and equitable taxation system, we carried out a 3-Day training for the Leaders from September 18 – 20, 2017.