From GEOFFREY ANYANWU, Awka
Anambra State Government yesterday announced the introduction of a yearly Personal Income Tax (PIT) of N3,000 pro-rata to all categories of traders in the markets scattered across the state.
The introduction of the tax, the government said was a way of shoring up the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which had been a cause of concern.
Traders in the state were alleged to have, hitherto, avoided paying taxes while the civil servants in the state had their taxes deducted at source through the Pay As You Earn (P.A.Y.E.) system.
Announcing government’s decision during a press briefing, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Robert Okonkwo said an enumeration of the market stalls in the state has been done by government, just as it had held meetings with the market leaders.
Okonkwo further said it was agreed at the meetings that revenue contractors who he said had been short-changing government by under-declaring what they collected as revenue, be dispensed with, adding that government was looking at100 per cent increase in revenue from the markets from what it used to be before the sack of revenue contractors.
According to him, the market leaders were mandated to collect “N1, 800 a year stallage fees for a full shop, N900 for half a shop and N450 for a quarter shop, development levy per trader. Somebody is expected to pay 10percent of his income as tax. In the market, it is impossible to know how much a person realizes because there is no accurate data.
We agreed to surcharge a flat fee of N3, 000 as tax. “Totality of what is to be collected now is N6, 000 per trader. Only two years in arrears were considered.” On the Bridge Head market, Onitsha that was gutted by fire last week the Commissioner said it would rebuilt while they would be relocated to another site.