Some public sector employees last Thursday lamented an increase in the tax deductions from their monthly salaries.
Some of the workers said in Lagos that since the announcement of a new tax regime by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), their monthly tax deductions have gone up.
It would be recalled that the amended Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), which mandates the President, the Vice President, governors, their deputies and other political office holders to pay taxes on their allowances, took effect from April 1.
President Goodluck Jonathan on June 14 signed the Act into law, making it the first major amendment to the income tax law since 1979.
Mr Abiodun Elegushi, a mid-career civil servant, said that instead of a reduction in his tax, as stated in the regime, the tax deducted from his monthly pay has continued to go up every month.
“Since the announcement of a new tax regime by the Federal Government, what was being deducted from my salary has doubled. This is affecting the little that I earn.
“We were glad that the PITA (Amendment Bill) will provide some succour to Nigerian workers who have been over-burdened as a result of the obsolete tax regime that was in operation,’’ he said.
Elegushi said that the signing into law of the Bill was a positive development for the welfare of Nigerian workers, but regrettably, it was not making the expected impact.
Mr Dele Ajayi, another civil servant, said that about N5, 000 was being deducted from his salary, which, he said, was affecting his take-home pay.
“I do not understand why I should pay that much as tax. The new tax regime is not expected to affect the salary of middle-income earners like me, but this is working to the contrary,’’ he said.
Ajayi appealed to the relevant authorities to look into the issue and solve the problem.
Commenting on the issue, Mr Solomon Onaghinon, Secretary-General, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) said that the ministries should look into the tax deductions of their workers.
He said it was regrettable that public servants, who were not political office holders, had been complaining about high tax deductions from their salaries, noting that it ought not to be so.
Onaghinon appealed to the various ministries and parastatals to look into their documents to solve the problem as it might not necessarily be the fault of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The reviewed clauses in the new law were expected to provide an enabling environment for investors and also impact positively on the earnings of the low and middle-level income cadres.