FIRS nets N27b from ‘tax amnesty’, as 814,000 new payers are listed

Tunde Fowler, executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), says the agency realised N27.086 billion from the waiver of tax penalty and interest programme.

The programme was introduced to allow defaulters regularise their relationship with the agency.

Fowler spoke yesterday in Abuja during the oversight visit by the  House of Representatives Committee on Finance, according to a statement endorsed by Wahab Gbadamosi,  head of communications and servicom department at FIRS.

The N27.086 billion came from the tax waiver programme came from the payment of a minimum of 25 per cent of the principal of outstanding tax liabilities between 2013 and 2015 and continued payment of agreed instalments.

More revenue is expected from instalmental payments of the principal, Fowler added.

As many as 2,735 taxpayers applied under the tax waiver programme.

“The aggregate tax revenue collection for the year 2016 amounted to N3.307 trillion which translates to 79 per cent of the government target of N4.200 trillion,” he said.

Last year, FIRS gave a 45-day window, between October 5 and November 24 for taxpayers owing tax liabilities inclusive of interest and penalty for 2013-2015 to come forward and pay a minimum of 25 per cent of the actual  liabilities and spread the balance. Penalty and interest were waived.

Fowler also told the committee members that FIRS implemented a nationwide tax registration drive in 2016 to bring additional taxpayers into the tax net.

“We were able to bring in additional 814, 000 corporate taxpayers, exceeding our target of 500, 000 previously unregistered taxpayers. This was achieved through nationwide taxpayer registration drive, taxpayer engagement and enlightenment. We established the Federal Engagement and Enlightenment Tax Teams (FEETT) ran campaigns on television and radio in five languages. We are collaborating with Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs on several fronts. With State Internal Revenue Service (SIRS), we are collaborating on engagement, education and tax audit. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with them,” he said.

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