The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) realised N27.086 billion from waiver of tax penalty and interest programme from 2,735 taxpayers that applied for the programme.
This was revealed by the agency’s Executive Chairman, Tunde Fowler in Abuja during the oversight visit by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance to the FIRS.
“The N27.086 billion realised 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 installments.
“More revenue is expected from installment payments of the principal,” Fowler said in a statement issued yesterday by FIRS’ spokesperson, Wahab Gbadamosi.
He assured the House Committee that 2017 revenue generation prospect of the agency was bright, adding that the FIRS would explore all avenues to give a better performance in 2017. “The aggregate tax revenue collection for the year 2016 amounted to N3.307 trillion, which translates to 79 per cent of the government’s target of N4.200 trillion,” he said.
Last year, FIRS gave a 45-day window, between October 5th to November 24th, 2016 for taxpayers owing tax liabilities inclusive of interest and penalty for three years (2013 to 2015), to come forward and pay a minimum of 25 per cent of their actual tax liability and spread the balance while the penalty and interest are waived.
Such taxpayers must present a payment plan on the outstanding tax liabilities that is acceptable to the Service. Fowler also told members of the House Committee on Finance that FIRS registered a total of 814,000 new taxpayers in 2016, surpassing its target to register 500,000 new taxpayers by December 31, 2016.
His words: “Last year, we implemented a nationwide tax registration drive 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.”
Chairman House Committee on Finance, Hon. Babangida Ibrahim, said the visit was to enable the committee to understand the challenges the FIRS is grappling with, legislate where necessary and support FIRS to generate enough revenue for the nation.