The governor made this observation at the launching of electronic tax clearance certificate at the Leisure Spring Hotel in Osogbo.
Aregbesola disclosed that no government can be functional if citizens fail to fulfil their civic responsibility as exemplified by payment of tax.
The newly introduced electronic card tax clearance certificate is aimed at eliminating fake tax clearance certificates; a tax payer’s means of identification; aids reconciliation of tax returns and will also serve as an identity card to the holder.
The card will also give assurance to taxpayers that all payments made are remitted to the government coffers and eliminate delay in obtaining tax clearance certificates.
Aregbesola noted that the act of non-payment of tax is a civil wrong which will not be allowed in an organised society, saying taxes are what government uses to perform it’s statutory duties.
According to him,”All over the world, government is run by the tax of the people. In essence, it means taxes is essential part of any government administration. And that is why tax evasion is considered as a criminal offence.
“Every responsible citizen is expected to pay tax and this is what government uses to execute its projects and programmes.
“Our own tax regime is going to be people-friendly and reasonable. The least tax rate for our artisans, small scale business owners, market men and women is put at N125 per month which aggregates to N1500 per annum.
“There should be no artisan in the state that can not afford such amount monthly. You should call upon your members to take it as their civic duty to pay their tax as and when due so as to support the development and growth of the state.
“It is even religious to love one’s town and state and by paying your tax duly, you are openly demonstrating your love for this state.” the governor said.
In his lecture, the Director, Medium Tax department, Federal Inland Revenue services titled “Presumptive tax regime: tool of standardisation of revenue from informal sector. Mr. Peter Olayemi allayed the fear of the people on the issue of tax, saying government is reasonable on the tax regime.
He noted that tax will only be based on profit of business and not the size, adding that for an average individual operating in the informal sector, tax laws are perceived to be complex which should not be so with tax only on profit with proper record.
Olayemi observed that Nigeria’s economy is dominated by the oil sector which is characterised by volatility, noting that it is vital therefore to grow the non-oil sector especially the Medium Scale enterprises which constitute the nations engine of economic growth.
According to him, ” in the quest to do business, we must abide by the law, tax is supported by the law. We should at all times keep our record of profits so that there will be no stress when officers of the Internal Revenue service are on call at their shops will safe business owners from being placed on basic judgement assesment”. He told the audience.
Earlier in his address, the acting Chairman, Osun Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Dayo Oyebanji pointed out that the innovation was borne out of Aregbesola’s effort towards making the state financially buoyant without need to rely on the monthly federal allocation.
Oyebanji noted that the objective of the tax clearance certificate is to serve as a replacement to the paper based manually processed tax clearance certificate in line with the current demand of the society.
He said, “the administration of Ogbeni is determined to make life easy for the good people of Osun. IRS under his administration is also committed to collecting tax in the most friendly way without imposing any form of hardship on the indigenes.
“Aregbesola in his magnanimity has approved a meagre sum of N4,500 as three years tax payable by artisans in order to afford them the opportunity to have tax clearance certificate for the pursuance of their day to day transaction.” the Chairman stressed.