The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it has recovered about N12.7billion tax revenues from billionaire tax evaders since it launched its accounts substations policy over a month ago. Earlier on, the FIRS chairman Mr Fowler stated: what we have done is what we call substation, which also is in our Laws, and which empowers us to appoint the banks as collection agencies for taxes.
The 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.
“The FIRS will continue to implement initiatives that will drive compliance and generate revenue by continuous taxpayer enlightenment, implementation of the Auto VAT Collect in other sectors of the economy, simplification of the tax processes especially for small taxpayers, strengthening collaborations with other agencies such as CAC, States Boards of Internal Revenue, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Nigeria Customs Service”, Fowler said.
The FIRS Chairman said that the Service realised the sum of N2.983 billion from payment on demand notices on property owners who are being assessed based on their turnover and that 653 of 2, 672 of such non-filers have starting filing now. From enforcement, Fowler said the FIRS has collected a total of N47.5 billion from 2016 till date and $32.8 million dollars, £5.9 pounds, netted N225 billion from audit and has collected more than N1 trillion above its January to August collection last year (2017).
He said that FIRS’ collection of N4.03 trillion in 2017 has 62.25 percent as non-oil while oil is just 37.75 percent. It was 64.99 in favour of non-oil in 2016 and 35.01 for oil. In 2018, the FIRS has done 54.56 percent for non-oil and 45.44 percent for oil receipts.
He explained that Value Added Tax (VAT) receipt is on a steady increase. “So far in 2018, the FIRS has collected 773.49bn in eight months. The above collected this year has already surpassed that of 2015 (767.33bn) and is set to surpass 2016 (828.19bn), and 2017 (972.30bn) with four more collection months left in the year.
“E-stamp duties collection is on a steady increase. So far in 2018, the FIRS has collected 10.10bn in eight months. The above collected this year has already surpassed that of 2017 (10.9bn), 2016 (5.6bn), and 2015 (7.1bn)”, Fowler said.
Three weeks ago, the FIRS Chairman told stakeholders event in Lagos that substitution is allowed in the nation’s laws and empowers FIRS to appoint banks as collection agents for tax. “So, all these ones of TIN and no pay and no TIN and no pay, to the total of 6772 will have their accounts frozen or put under substitution pending when they come forward. First, “they refused to come forward in 2016, they refused to come forward under VAT and are still operating here. So, we are putting them under notice that it is their civic responsibility to pay tax and to file returns on these accounts.
“We looked at all businesses, partnerships, corporate accounts that have a minimum turnover of N1 billion per annum for the past three years. First of all, the law states clearly that before you open a corporate account, part of the opening documentation is the tax I.D. From the 23 banks, we have analysed so far, we have 31,395 records, out of which effectively minus duplications we had 18,602.
“We broke those into three categories: Those that have TIN tax I.D, those that don’t have no TIN and of course no TIN no pay and those that have TIN and have not even paid anything. So, on a minimum, every company or business included here over the last three years have had a banking turnover of N3 billion and above. Some of them have had banking turnover of over N5 billion and have not paid one kobo in taxes. Now the total number of TIN and no pay is 6772. “So, if someone is good in mathematics and you take the minimum level of N3 billion multiply by 409 and they are operating within our society and economy and do not remit or make any tax payment”, he further stated.