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FIRS N3.3trillion tax collections for 2016 falls short of target by 21 per cent

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Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Boss

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, yesterday told the House of Representatives Committee on Finance in Abuja that the N3.307 trillion tax collections for 2016 fell short of its revenue target by 21 per cent.

Fowler said the Federal Government gave it a target of N4.200 trillion even as the agency gave itself a target of N5trillion but neither of the targets was met.

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

A statement by the FIRS Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Wahab Gbadomosi, said Fowler made the revelations during the committee’s oversight visit to the FIRS office.

“FIRS realised N27.086 billion from waivers on tax penalty and interest programme, which 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,” the statement added.

Fowler pointed out that more revenue was expected from installment payments of the principal and disclosed that 2,735 taxpayers applied under the tax waiver programme.

He assured the committee that the agency’s revenue generation outlook for 2017 was bright, adding that FIRS would explore all avenues to ensure a better performance during the year.

Last year, FIRS gave a 45-day window between October 5 and November 24, 2016 for taxpayers who owed tax liabilities inclusive of interest and penalty from 2013 to 2015, he explained.

He urged the debtors to pay a minimum of 25 per cent of their actual tax liabilities and spread the balance while the penalty and interest would be waived, adding that such taxpayers must present a payment plan on the outstanding tax liabilities that would be acceptable to the service.

The FIRS boss told the committee that the agency registered 814, 000 new taxpayers in 2016, which surpassed its target of 500, 000 new taxpayers by December 31, 2016.

“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 audits. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with them,” Fowler said.



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