FIRS’ Fowler replies presidency over leaked memo
Chairman, FIRS, Tunde Fowler

Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has revealed it plans to collaborate with Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other stakeholders to ensure payment of tax by millionaire defaulters in 2019.

Tunde Fowler, FIRS Executive Chairman, said the Service is going after no fewer than 85,000 millionaires in 2019 over tax default.

According to Fowler, FIRS had already realised the sum of N23 billion based on a closer look at the books of 45,000 tax debtors. He said each of the 45,000 tax debtors had over N100 million as turnover in their accounts.

Fowler added that FIRS would be going after another set of over 40,000 millionaire tax defaulters in 2019.

He said

“We looked at businesses, partnerships of any activity that has banking turnover between N100 million and N999 million. We have done a review of this group of businesses.

“We have about seven more banks that we are still waiting for the return from and to review their information.

“So far, we have 45,361 that have TIN and are making payments. We have 40,611 that have TIN, that made tax payment and we have 44,504 that have no TIN and no pay.

“So, when you look at it from a glance, we have close to 75,000 in this group that are still not taxpayers and we have said the payment of tax is not only for the civil servants, it’s for all Nigerians. So, the millionaires and the billionaires will pay tax on behalf of what is due to the national coffers.”

Nairametrics had reported that in less than a month the agency commenced its substitution of accounts of recalcitrant billionaires who have not been paying commensurate taxes, FIRS collected N12.66 billion as taxes.

How FIRS collected the tax

Fowler said the FIRS wrote to all commercial banks in the country as at May 2018, requesting for a list of companies, partnerships, and enterprises with banking turnover of N1 billion and above.

This activity, according to Fowler, is aimed at ascertaining those companies that are compliant with the tax laws and those that are not compliant. So far, the non-compliant organisations have paid about N12.66 billion.

FIRS had vowed to sell the properties of tax evaders in the country. While announcing the government’s decision, Fowler said the government is not only willing to sell properties built and developed in corporate names across the country on which taxes were not being paid, but will freeze thousands of bank accounts.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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