…Still on the matter of innovation and with the search light still fixed on Lagos state. The first point to note in innovation is that of Technological Innovation. The government of Lagos state is gradually incorporating this technique as part of its tax administration mechanism and it is working like magic. Now, not only is Lagos ranking highest amongst the states in terms of Internally Generated Revenue, the number of tax payers in the state increased by a 4% minimum in 2016 and as was pointed out in last week’s piece the state escaped the cold hands of recession.
How did Lagos do it? One might be tempted to ask; it is simple, like any smart business man Lagos introduced the use of Point of Sale and Mobile Payment Platforms. Tax administration business is serious business and should be approached as such. The basic rule that governs a business man in his business is this: “To make his customer loose his hard earned income in the least painful way that he would not even realize that he has lost anything”.
The advantages of technological innovations are unending and would include;
- The reduction in cases of tax avoidance; I would have swiped my card before doing the full maths on how much tax I am to pay and deciding whether or not to fall into the temptation of avoidance.
- This technological leap also favours the government as it reduces the corruption level. The officials do not deal directly with the cash being generated.
- The government would have a means of tracking the monies had and received.
- It reduces instances of bottlenecks and bureaucracies.
- It makes for more revenue in a fast and efficient manner.
It is in the interest of the tax administrative bodies concern to see to it that there is a paradigm shift into the technological age in tax payment. The implementation of the above would avoid a situation where most citizens would prefer to avoid taxes thus bringing to life the quote of Douglas Adam that:
“I’m spending a year dead for tax reasons”…