Further to the provisions of the Finance Act 2020 and in line with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) mandate to automate the tax administration system, the FIRS has recently launched a one-stop online platform – TaxPro Max.
On the platform, taxpayers will be able to file returns electronically, pay taxes online, get instant credit for withholding taxes deducted from their income, ascertain capital allowance carried forward, loss carried forward to be utilised for subsequent income tax returns, generate tax clearance certificates, respond to tax assessments raised, keep track of outstanding debt and communicate with the FIRS local tax offices on other tax matters.
What should Taxpayers do?
- Visit FIRS office to complete tax update form
- Visit the TaxPro Max platform via https://taxpromax.firs.gov.ng and login with your user details, after which a dashboard will be displayed
- Carry out a reconciliation of the outstanding withholding tax credit notes to be uploaded on the TaxPro Max
- Carry out a reconciliation of losses and capital allowance carried forward to be uploaded on the TaxPro Max, so that these can be automatically available for utilisation.
- Be mindful that downtime or technical glitches may occur towards the due date of filing. It is therefore imperative that payment of taxes in respect of the tax returns to be filed, should be done as early as possible and filing process initiated before the due date.
- Regularly visit the TaxPro Max website to check for any correspondence or assessment that may have been raised and the due date for a valid response or payment already counting against the company.
Identified Shortcomings of TaxPro Max
- The “TaxPro Max” is not yet configured for the filing of companies income tax returns for Insurance Companies and Upstream Oil & Gas Companies.
- Some of the returns filing processes are repetitive and can be further compressed
- The TaxPro Max platform recognises only Naira (NGN) as the reporting currency
- There is no provision for correction or amending tax returns
- The platform did not make provision for instalment payment.
- Payment is expected to be completed within 24 hours after initiation of payment / generation of Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) Number.
- The platform does not generate any report for the user after completion of the filing process.
- Adequate consideration not made for confidentiality and security of taxpayers’ information on the TaxPro Max
The introduction of the TaxPro Max is a laudable effort by the FIRS to ensure that taxpayers enjoy a seamless tax filing process and also ease compliance. Taxpayers in return are expected to get acquainted with the platform, to fully maximise the benefits.
In view of the imminent migration from the current manual tax returns filing to the full implementation of automated filing on the platform, there is need to allow for a transition phase, to ensure that the usual glitches associated with system integration is prevented. Implementation can also be done in batches according to the current local tax office groupings i.e Large Tax Offices (Non-oil), Medium Tax Offices, Micro & Small Tax Offices e.t.c.
To fully achieve the objective of introducing this platform, the FIRS must ensure that sufficient measures are put in place to ensure that concerns raised by users of the platform are promptly attended to and resolved. Some of the identified inadequacies like the exclusion of the insurance and upstream oil & gas companies from using the platform as well as the restriction of currency of filing to Naira, should be urgently addressed.
Overall, it is expected that this initiative, if properly managed, will improve tax compliance in Nigeria by reducing the related costs, time and inconvenience associated with manual returns filing.