Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it will no longer accept tax returns that do not carry a CITN stamp, come early 2019.
In a statement signed by the agency’s Registrar, Mr Adefisayo Awogbade, it was made known that the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) is the only institute empowered by an Act of law to oversee tax issues in Nigeria. As such, it is compulsory for all tax filings to the FIRS to have the CITN stamp and seal.
“The CITN requires all its members to take necessary steps to be in good standing with the Institute by obtaining their stamps and affixing same thereto on tax returns from the effective date of January 2, 2019.” – Awogbade
He also used the medium to call on all professional tax filers who have not obtained their license from the Federal Institute of Revenue Service to do so as soon as possible.
But this is not compulsory for everybody…
Note that the requirement to use the CITN stamp and seal only applies to professionals tax filers who submit tax returns on behalf of their clients. In other words, “taxpayers who do not need the service of tax practitioners and who decide to file their tax returns directly would not be under obligation to comply with affixing of CITN stamp and seal on their tax returns filed with FIRS.”
The Federal Inland Revenue Service has in recent times made a lot of attempts towards changing the status quo in Nigeria’s tax system. The Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) by FIRS was a relative success. Earlier in June, the Revenue’s Chairman, Mr Babatunde Fowler stated that as much as N30 billion was recovered from former tax defaulters within an 11-month period.
Not everyone is impressed by FIRS
The Institute has been tackling tax defaulters and recently made known its resolve to do this with more vehemence, even to the extent of selling off their products. Some people have, however, found faults with the Institute’s enforcement action. A recent Op-Ed on Nairametrics called on the FIRS and the authorities to stop focusing on growing the tax numbers but also give thoughts to the appropriateness of methods used to achieve these numbers as they can have a medium to long-term detriment on the Nation.