Sustained efforts by the Federal Government to boost revenue generation on Tuesday got a boost as Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) unveiled plans to generate N750 billion from erring Accounting firms and others with N1 billion turnover and above.
Chairman of FIRS Mr Babatunde Fowler who disclosed this during the budget defence of key revenue generating agencies held at the instance of House Committee on Finance chaired by Hon.Ibrahim Babangida, explained that the Service achieved 78.86% or N5.320 trillion out of its revenue target of N6.747 trillion for the 2018 fiscal year.
The Service’s initiative tagged: ‘Bank Accounts substitution exercise’, was aimed at using banking information of non-compliant tax
payers with N1 billion and above turnover into the tax net. So far, the sum of N23.25 billion has been recovered by the Service from undisclosed firms, while efforts are being intensified to cover those with turnover of N100 million and above.
Our Correspondent further gathered that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has also hunting for some law firms which have failed to comply with extant financial regulations.
According to the report obtained from FIRS, the joint task set up to actualize the recovery: FIRS/EFCC Joint Task Force, was introduced in
2018 to enhance the fight against tax related fraud. As at December 2018, a total of N6.94 billion and $278,430 had been recovered by the JTF. This and other such initiatives are continuous and will be continuous going forward.
In his presentation, Fowler disclosed that additional sums of N28.51 billion and $77.83 million has been recovered through regular enforcement from various tax offices, tax audit and investigation assessments.
He informed that through the recently introduced Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), the Service through the implementation of Executive Order 004, recovered the sum of N53.04 billion at federal level out of N92.7 billion liability declared as at December 2018, adding that the agency is vigorously pursuing the balance of N39.68 billion from indebted tax payers.
Similarly, FIRS has recovered revenue worth N4.3 billion accruing from property owners in Abuja and Lagos state, just as it unveiled plans to extend the initiatve to other parts of the country.
“In this regard, Oyo and Kaduna states have commenced. It is important to note that this is not a property tax but rather the use of the
provisions of the law to bring into the tax net, companies that own properties but failed to file necessary tax returns and pay appropriate taxes due.
Through its Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) for the year 2018 aimed at securing some quick wins for short and medium terms
period, FIRS realized the sum of N212.79 billion through National Tax Audit and Pioneer Audit, sequel to improvements to the audit process and resultant increased efficiency.
According to the FIRS, following the expiration of the Pioneer Audit granted several companies, we have identified 190 companies in this
category and have commenced post Pioneer Audit of 129 out of the identified companies. We expect to conclude the process before the end of 2019, the FIRS chairman told the lawmakers.
In its quest to improve of the collection process through the deployment of technology, FIRS is expected to go live in 2019 with hospitality, branded superstores, eCommerce, professional service and maritime sectors, to complement the achievements recorded in Banking and Cable TV sectors which have gone live in 2018.
Through the State Offices of Accountants General Platform (SAG) which is an automated system for the deduction at source and remittance of Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax (WHT) from State Governments’ contract payments, 23 states remitted total sum of N14.99 billion as at December 2018, and expected of bringing on board other states in 2019.