FIRS rakes in N3.2tr in 10 months, says Fowler

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Agency shuts firms in Lagos, Port Harcourt over tax debt The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has generated N3.233 trillion in 10 months. The amount is 79.35 per cent of the agency’s collection target for this year, its Executive Chairman Tunde Fowler said yesterday. He spoke at an interactive session on the review of 2018–2020 Medium Term

Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance and Appropriations. He told the joint committees on key strategies for achieving the objectives of the 2018 budget that the FIRS justification for 2018-2020 revenue framework was based on the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) introduced by the Federal Government. Fowler said the FIRS deployed technology to ramp up more revenue, especially as its tax assessment between 2013 and 2015 revealed N1 trillion after tax audit.

The chief tax officer of the country said the exercise had already yielded over N3.7 billion in collection of taxes into Federal Government coffers. This, he said, was a pointer to FIRS’ ability to meet its assumptions for the 2018–2020 M-TEF expectations. These successes, he noted, were as a result of various measures adopted by the service to ensure increased collections of Federal Government dues in corporate and individual taxes. He added that the measure would continue to be relevant in achieving better collections in 2018.

Listing the measures that triggered the feat, Fowler said the new modalities structured for optimal access of accruable dues from Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) had yielded over $54 million (abot N16.73 billion) and N207.41 billion), totalling about N16.40 billion at the federal level only. He said: “We have stepped up enforcement activities against task defaulters on different fronts; these include placing non-compliance stickers on business premises of tax payers with outstanding amounts but made no move to liquidate it. “We also adopted substitution as enforcement tool by putting a lien on the bank account of errand tax payers.

“This, in my view, will serve as deterrent to defaulters and consequently increase tax collection. “FIRS has so far collected over N6 billion and 4.2 million dollars (over N1.4 billion), totalling over N7.7 billion. “This drive is continuous and will be unrelenting going forward.” The FIRS has sealed some firms In Lagos, Port Harcourt over tax debt. Some of the firms affected in the enforcement exercise led by Mrs. Anita Erinne were LASACO Assurance Plc headquarters and MTS Nigeria Limited. LASACO was sealed over a tax liability of N278.5 million, while MTS got its gates locked for owing N169.6 million.

The others are: Sterling Assurance, Fatmark International Limited, which owes N16 million, and LC Divine Link Limited, which owes N13.6 million. In Port Harcourt, the FIRS team, led by Mr. Umar Gana, sealed three hotels – Randolph Hotels and Resorts Titie Hotels which owes N17.8 million; Sasun Hotels Limited, owing N149.6 million, BMA Nigeria Limited, said to have an aggregate tax liability of N69.2 million.

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