University Don Urges FG to Expand Tax Net to Commercial Online Businesses

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A lecturer, Dr Damon Nandam Dashe, has called on the Federal Government to adopt the generative and Artificial Intelligence (AI) application to expand its tax net to commercial online businesses.

He posited that this will boost internally generated revenue and Gross Domestic Production (GDP).

Speaking with our reporter on Monday on his recent extensive academic research, Dr Dashe, who is a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Jos, said the new AI Application would present the government with a golden opportunity to gather data on both individuals and corporate organizations conducting taxable commercial activities online thus liable to pay online tax for proper planning and further research.

He said the application would further entrench globalisation of the internet by bringing or linking together national economies that were hitherto isolated from one another, through barriers of cross-border trade and investment, distance, time zones, language and national differences.

“Aside from making online taxation seamless, it will have made it much more transparent in like manner to address the issue of double and multiple- taxation as the case may be.

“It will benefit the government, the academic community, judges, and tax practitioners, especially by deliberate government policy to allow or encourage the use of AIs, AMs and ARs-enabled software, as cutting-edge technological solutions to drive online taxation to give rise to new issues and jurisprudence.

“I believe it could redefine especially bilateral treaties that cover income and capital taxes or multilateral tax treaties as may be applicable with the principal aim of addressing double taxation.

“The application will provide Nigeria with the opportunity to improve her Information Communications Technology and Strategy Management which is the hallmark or backbone of e-commerce.

“The application will also provide a bedrock for Tax Policy Reform which has become inevitable, given the digital reality or disruptions globally.

He said this was possible”bearing in mind that this paradigm shift has revolutionised how business is conducted in the present-day economy, especially since tax has become the major determinant of growth and development for any serious economy “.

According to him, the extant legal regime is not adequate, such as the absence of a clear national tax policy on digital taxation, setting out a road map for taxation of digital or taxations of internet transactions in Nigeria.

He said there was no multi-sectoral synergy amongst the institutional legal framework, hence laden with challenges and consequently depriving the country of the much-needed revenue from the internet transactions.

“Unfortunately, only a few instances of inter-agency synergies or collaboration but not multi-sectoral as envisioned by this research, where API or software interface deployed would integrate all revenue-generating agencies onto a single platform.

“There is a compelling need for a deliberate and robust legal regime to be driven by generative AI as an online tax office in Nigeria.

“This will ensure a multi-sectoral synergy wherein all revenue-collecting agencies will block huge revenue leakages from cyberspace, thereby improving government revenue yield in terms of capital development.

“Technology such as AR or AI-enabled software has not been deployed in Internet tax administration despite its attendant benefits such as cost-effectiveness and efficiency, accuracy, and the ability to eliminate human error in tax assessment, corruption, or manipulation,” Dashe stated.

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