Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FIRS recovers N24bn from 500 tax defaulters

Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler said the service recovered N24billion from 500 rich tax defaulters.

He said FIRS currently has its sight on 55,000 defaulting taxpayers from whom it hopes to recover at least N750billion before the end of the first half of 2019.

Fowler stated this during a meeting with the House of Representatives joint committee on Finance, Appropriation, Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Legislative Budget and Research and National Planning and Economic Development on the 2019/2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP, a statement by the service indicated.

He said the service is broadening its VAT collection scope with the adoption of state Accountants General, SAG, collection platform, VAT Auto-Collect, integration of the GIFMIS platform with Ministries, Departments and Agencies and through e-service payment options.

Fowler who noted that the substitution led to the recovery of N23.25billion, said the 85percent of VAT collected by the service went to state governments.

He said the service used bank information from the bank accounts substitution to bring non-compliant taxpayers with N1billion and above turnover to comply.

“It has so far resulted in the recovery of N23.35billion. The exercise has been extended to cover those with turnover of N100million and above.

“To date, about 500 of them have come forward and they have paid and we have collected in the region of about N24billion. We believe we should be able to go through the 55,000 defaulters and generate about N750billion before the middle of this year; which will be 30th June,” he said.

Fowler who noted that FIRS recorded an increase in VAT collection between 2015 and 2018, said the service was broadening its VAT collection scope, stressing that VAT was not for the poor.

“Out of about N5.3trillion, a large percentage is shared between states and local governments. In VAT, there has been a growth of over 44 percent between 2015 and 2018. And that is at the current rate of five percent,” he said.

He noted that Nigerians that were complaining about the increase in VAT rate were the same ones who went to Ghana and paid triple the amount in VAT or went to London and paid higher amounts.



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