By Ruth Olurounbi
Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has generated N783.59 billion in in Valued Added Tax as well as e-stamp duties receipts in eight months, surpassing revenues from 2016 and 2017, the agency’s boss, Tunde Fowler told the Minister of Finance in Abuja at the weekend.
“So far in 2018, the FIRS has collected N773.49 billion in eight months. The above collected this year has already surpassed that of 2015 (N767.33 billion), and is set to surpass 2016 (N828.19 billion), and 2017 (N972.30 billion) with four more collection months left in the year.
“e-stamp duties collection is on a steady increase. So far in 2018, the FIRS have collected N10.10 billion in eight months. The above collected this year has already surpassed that of 2017 (N10.9 billion), 2016 (N5.6 billion), and 2015 (N7.1 billion),” he said, while hosting the minister at his agency.
Fowler additionally told the minister that his agency has collected the sum of N12.66 billion in tax revenue from organisations and person who were said to have evaded tax payments during the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) window.
Fowler told the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed in Abuja that the tax evaders are being forced to pay their taxes shortly after their accounts were closed.
It will be recalled that the FIRS recently announced that it was shutting some accounts found to have evaded tax payments within the VAIDS window.
“FIRS wrote to all commercial banks in May 2018, requesting for a list of Companies, Partnerships, and Enterprises with a banking turnover of N1 billion and above. This activity is aimed at ascertaining those companies that are compliant with the Tax Laws and those that are not compliant. So far, non-compliant organization have paid about N12.66 billion,” Fowler said without disclosing the names of the organizations.
Responding, the minister said her ministry “will continue to work collaboratively with FIRS to support all the efforts that you are doing. And as much as possible, we should interface frequently. For us, the directive I have is to increase the tax revenue and that is the most important task ahead of all of us. The FIRS is a very important agency of government.
“I am happy that we have a team in FIRS that is not only expanding the revenue base but also significantly improving tax collection and taking tax offices closer to the people and making it easier for the people to pay their taxes by online and e-tax payment procedures that you have undertaken. And I am sure that, from what I have heard today, that you would continue with all these processes.”