- Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland revenue Service, FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler, has said that consultants will not be used to collect tax. He made this statement at a meeting of the Joint Tax Board, JTB, in Abuja, yesterday.
- The use of tax consultants to collect taxes, a practice that is prevalent among state governments have been criticized as illegal and open to corruption between the consultants and state governors.
His words, “You can imagine a staff roster that can audit the books of well over 400, 000 corporate organisations. It won’t work. Therefore to increase the level of transparency and accountability, we would engage consultants. But these consultants will only gather data. The law does not allow them to undertake assessment. The law does not allow them to collect revenue on behalf of government.
- Consequently, they will collect data; they are to assist our staff. We will do the assessment and issue the Demand Notice for the tax to be paid”. On the level of tax payers compliance, the chairman disclosed that only slightly over 30 per cent companies and other businesses pay tax in the country. A situation he said must change.
“We have exchanged information with all states’ Internal Revenue Boards. We have all the information on the database. We have given them out already and in case they need further information that currently they don’t have on their database, we will always collaborate with them. With this development, we should have a growth in tax payers both at the states and federal levels within one week.”
- Yesterday’s meeting according to Mr. Fowler, was to enable to the JTB fashion out a roadmap to provide a workable tool for both the FIRS and the Internal Revenue Boards of the states with a view to raising the level of tax revenue in the country.