FIRS to recoup tax form evading companies

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Tunde Fowler said the focus of the service this quarter, was to recoup taxes owed by airlines, banks and communication companies.

Fowler made this known on Thursday in Kano northern Nigeria in an interview at the sideline of the National Revenue Retreat, organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

He said that the process was intended to reduce and eliminate tax debts.

“At the beginning of the year, FIRS projected N4.9 trillion, while the 2016 budget projected N4.2 trillion. Till date, we have achieved 73 per cent of the approved budget.

“We still have a number of companies that are yet to pay their taxes and so we will start the process of enforcement.

“There are currently five major sectors that are not as tax compliant as they should be.

“These are the sectors we are going to focus on this quarter. These are telecommunications, aviation, multinational corporations, financial institutions and power,” he said.

Fowler said that this year, the service had captured 700,000 existing companies that had never paid tax into its database.

He said that the service’s strategy was to improve revenue generation by improving the number of entities that pay tax and ensure that those entities pay the right tax.

He said that the service had deployed technology to improve tax collection, adding that this had brought accountability and transparency to the system.

“Yes we should be able to generate more revenue if we employ more tax officers, but bear it in mind that taxation is a complex process and we cannot just bring in tax officers. They have to be trained.

“Yes the area of taxation is not rocket science but there is a level of training that they require for them to interact with tax payers. And so new staff require a lot of training before they can be put on the field.

“But in the meantime, we have engaged some consultants to add to our manpower, to increase transparency and ensure that we can do our audits timely,” he said.