The Federal Government is considering the option of enforcing the deduction of taxes from the monthly federal allocations of states who failed to remit various taxes collected on behalf of Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) over the past five years.
According to FIRS Chairman Mr. Babatunde Fowler, less than 20 percent of the taxes (Value Added Tax, Withholding Tax and CIT) collected by the affected states were accounted for.
“A lot of states never remitted taxes, yet benefitted from the monthly federal allocations,” he said at the Joint Tax Board meeting held in Kano State.
Fowler also spoke at the ongoing investigative public hearing on ‘FIRS accounting procedure,’ held at the instance of Adhoc Committee Chaired by Michael Enyong Okon.
He revealed that 363,000 taxpayers had so far been captured into the tax net since resumption, adding that as from May 2, 2016, all federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) were to begin to remit appropriate taxes including VAT and WHT deducted from payment to contractors into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
The FIRS Chairman also unveiled plans to shore up the country’s revenue by raising the tax base of companies operating in the country from N10 million to N20 million by the end of 2016 fiscal year.
“So far, N700 billion VAT has been realised by FIRS out of the N2 trillion for this year, while over 100,000 companies operating across the country have never paid taxes,” Fowler alleged.
“In the bid to recover the multi-billion unpaid taxes, negotiation has been initiated with major debtors in the aviation, finance, telecom, oil and gas, suppliers of fertilizers and multinationals to ensure prompt payment of outstanding taxes.”
In the bid to effective address the challenges, he disclosed plans to recruit 1,250 staff including about 1,000 auditors that would be required to audit compliance and enforce the tax policy.
He submitted lists of highly indebted companies from various sectors of the economy including the airline, telecommunication, and construction sectors to the Adhoc Committee for further legislative action.
The Adhoc Committee proceeded to summon the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to appear before it on Wednesday while Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance is to appear next week to explain the rationale behind the flagrant disregard for the enforcement of Section 19 of the FIRS Act, which the lawmakers alleged abet and aid corruption and tax evasion.