Written by Sarah NEGEDU

MDAs to authenticate tax certificates before paying contractors

 

The Federal Government has directed all Ministries, Department and Agencies and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, to authenticate all Tax Clearance Certificates, TCC, presented by contractors engaged in public procurement processes.

The directive is in response to the proliferation of forged TCCs purportedly issued prior to the automation of the certificates from August 22, 2017.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said the need to validate the TCCs from the FIRS was borne out of the conviction that it would enhance the integrity of the tax system.

Adeosun in a circular advised the MDAs and other stakeholders to forward a list of the companies and photocopies of the TCCs issued before August 22, 2017, to the office of the executive chairman, FIRS, for authentication.

She said the FIRS, she noted, had given assurances that the authenticity of such TCCs would be determined within 72 hours of receipt.

The minister reminded company directors that possession fake TCCs is an offense punishable by law, adding that the now outdated manual system allowed production of forged TCCs.

She advised companies and individuals, who were in doubt as to the authenticity of their TCCs, to take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme to regularise their tax status.

Adeosun added that the Federal Ministry of Finance and the FIRS would continue to work in partnership with government at all levels and stakeholders towards eradicating tax fraud and evasion.

The Federal Government, it will be recalled, had in January this year, directed vendors of MDAs to display their Tax Identification Numbers, TINs, on their invoices before payments are effected. The non-presentation of a TIN by the vendors largely contributed to leakages in revenue remittances, particularly Value Added Tax, VAT, and Withholding Tax.

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