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HURIWA accuses FIRS of witch-hunt for demanding 70m income tax


Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). Photo: FIRSNIGERIA

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has accused the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) of exhibiting tendencies of tyranny in an illiterate manner by illegally asking the not-for-profit civil rights body to pay over N70m as Company Income Tax.

HURIWA said the consistency in its social justice Advocacy campaigns against maladministration was the reason for this latest attempt to silence its independent voice. 


The FIRS had written HURIWA, stating that it had reviewed the organisation’s Tax compliance status and found it to be Dormant with no returns filed. FIRS told HURIWA that the penalties for Companies Income Tax (CIT) has been computed and amounts to N5.655m, while the penalty for Value Added Tax (VAT) is N69.280m and advised it to pay immediately to avoid further measures to enforce compliance, as prescribed in the Tax laws.

Reacting in a statement yesterday in Abuja, the National Coordinator, HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko alleged that FIRS is on a vendetta and witch-hunting adventure against the organisation for criticising it in a media interview, where the newspaper sought HURIWA’s opinion regarding its findings that the federal tax agency earmarked humongous amount in their 2021 budget as entertainment expenses to be paid by taxpayers.  

He said FIRS exhibited crass incompetence and ignorance by seeking such outrageous tax returns from a charitable body that by the directive contained in the certificate of incorporation indicates that its registration by the Corporate Affairs Commission, HURIWA is banned from engaging in business ventures. 


Onwubiko wondered how FIRS arrived at its calculations to now conclude that a Not-For-Profit like HURIWA should pay a backlog of over N70m.  

He said: “How can FIRS that has no power of oversight over CSOs be demanding payment of Company’s Income Tax from a body that Corporate Affairs Commission directed by law not to ever engage in business or any profitable venture? This is insanity taken too far by FIRS and our legal people will be following up soon on this madness of government rascality. 

“This is an attempt to muzzle free speech because, on many occasions, prominent Federal Government officers had approached HURIWA’s national coordinator to slow down on our criticisms of the failures of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. And because they failed to get us to compromise and be silent, the FIRS think it can use the illegal methodology to intimidate, harass and force us into silence…”


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