The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, says it would commence backend tax audit on operators in the maritime and aviation industries.
Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, disclosed this on Thursday while delivering an address at the Pedabo Thought Leadership Breakfast Session, on tax issues and the impact on development in the maritime and aviation industry, held in Lagos State.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman, FIRS, on Media and Communication, Johannes Wojuola, quoted Nami as saying that “The FIRS will soon launch a tax audit exercise on operators in the maritime and aviation industries.” He stated, adding that “Back-end pre-audit activities, in collaboration with regulatory authorities in the industries, are at advanced stages.”
The FIRS boss called on foreign players in these industries, who had lifted cargoes out of Nigeria without paying taxes to voluntarily come forward and regularise their tax standing.
“Let me use this opportunity to invite all foreign companies that have lifted cargoes (including crude oil) out of Nigeria without paying tax in line with extant law to voluntarily come forward to regularise their tax positions. Those who would wait for FIRS’ audit before doing the right thing may find the taste very unsavoury,” he said.
Nami lamented that as important as the maritime and aviation industries are to the economic development of Nigeria, they were not yielding the expected revenue to the Federation’s purse.
He blamed the poor revenue turn out on many factors, stating that a major reason for the poor yield was the failure of foreign companies lifting cargoes to pay tax.
“The low tax revenue performance of the two industries can be attributed to many factors, chief of which is the failure of foreign companies lifting cargoes (particularly, crude oil) to pay tax. This is contrary to the provisions of the extant tax laws. The revenue leakage from these non-compliant companies is very huge.
“Tax authorities are unable to police these foreign companies because the transportation contracts are executed outside Nigeria and the tax authorities do not have the lifting schedules of the vessels ahead of their arrival in Nigeria.” He said.
Nami further said governments’ existence and socio-economic development across the world today is defined by tax; as taxation has gone beyond a mere tool for raising revenue or a mere civil obligation of citizens.
“The whole world is engulfed in a tax war. In days ancient, nations went to war to capture land for its inherent natural resources. Today’s war is about tax. The inability of the Inclusive Framework to reach a consensus on the tax questions around the digitalised economy is a clear testimony that tax is the new “resource” for which people go to war.
“The statement published by the Inclusive Framework after a long-drawn negotiation clearly indicates that each country must clear a path for itself. The lack of consensus is, in itself, an eye opener; particularly for developing countries.” Nami stated.
FG raises alarm over N80k scam targeting survival fund beneficiaries
The Federal Government has raised an alarm over an ongoing fraudulent social media campaign, requesting individuals to drop their account details on a WhatsApp platform to access N80,000 as stipends under the Payroll Support scheme.
Steering Committee of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off Take Stimulus Scheme, headed by the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Maryam Katagum, issued the warning in a statement in Abuja.
The committee noted that the notice requesting the public or individuals to disclose their account details on a WhatsApp platform is fraudulent and should be disregarded by all and sundry as this message is not from the Project Delivery Office of the scheme.
“The procedure for the implementation of all tracks of the Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off Take Stimulus Scheme does not require public display of account details to individuals or groups.
“It is also pertinent to note that under no track of the scheme are beneficiaries given the sum of N80,000 either in installments or in whole. The amount given to beneficiaries remain N30,000 and N50,000 for Payroll Support; N30,000 for Artisans and Transport Grants; N50,000 for the General MSMEs Grant; and N100,000 per MSME for the Guaranteed Offtake Stimulus Scheme.
“The Steering Committee wishes to state that the purported scheme is not known to government, hence the general public is enjoined to disregard any message(s) from any individual or group requesting them to submit account details.
“The Steering Committee of the scheme has established lines of communication with the general public and beneficiaries including prospective ones and will deploy same in providing updates to all stakeholders,” it said.