Doctors in Enugu decry high personal income tax deductions

By Editor on 25/07/2018

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DOCTORS in Enugu State on Wednesday decried high personal income tax deductions by the state government.

The doctors, who spoke through Dr. Cajetan Onyedum, Chairman of the state’s chapter of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), also alleged that they were victims of multiple taxes imposed by the revenue authority.

Onyedum, in an address at the 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association in Enugu, said that NMA was “pained that medical doctors are charged high percentage on their earnings, compared to what other workers pay”.

“The prevailing circumstance has become a burden on our members. We have compared notes with other workers and realized that our taxes are relatively high.

“We have interacted with the government of the state, both formally and informally, on tax and remuneration issues and shall continue to discuss with the officials until our situation is looked into,” he said.

Onyedum, who was delivering a valedictory AGM speech as chairman of the association, appealed to successive executive members to continue to press on the matter.

“We are not saying that we will not pay tax; what we are saying is that the state government should make our tax what we can pay.

“We equally appeal to the state government to use the tax we pay to provide basic amenities like good roads and water,” he said.

The outgoing NMA chairman, however, commended the state government for approving a better pay package for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) doctors.

“It was during our maiden visit to the NYSC orientation camp that we discovered the poor remuneration of doctors serving as NYSC members.

“We immediately engaged the relevant authorities on this matter and the governor graciously approved a better pay package for them,” he said.

Onyedum also commended the state government for appointing NMA members into key positions and making the NMA a critical stakeholder in the healthcare system.

He, however, decried division among members along clannish lines, saying that the situation had torn the association into various factions and camps.

“There is so much acrimony and bitterness among members. There are so many legal issues being contended with. We cannot continue like this,” he said.

Reacting to the allegations of excessive and multiple tax on medical doctors, Mrs. Ada-Onah Uyanwune, Senior Special Assistant to the Enugu State Governor on Revenue Mobilisation, said that the claims were not true.

“Pay As You Earn (PAYE), is a one-off statutory charge based on a certain percentage of workers cumulative earnings.

“There is a standard amount charged all the workers. Doctors do not have a different template,” she said.

Uyanwune, however, said that some doctors work in more than one hospital and were duty bound to pay their taxes accordingly. (NAN)

Posted 25/07/2018 3:15:53 PM

 

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