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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has halted the freezing of bank accounts of tax defaulters. The agency made this known in a series of tweets from its Twitter handle, which was also posted as a press release.  

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Prior to this

The move had been condemned by several parties. KPMG in a note recently issued had called the action draconian.

Nothing in the CITA or FIRSEA authorises the FIRS to impose a
freeze order on a taxpayer’s bank account beyond the amount of tax proven to be due and payable by that taxpayer. The requirement directed to banks not to honour mandates from taxpayers over and above the tax amount supposedly proven by FIRS to be due and payable is without foundation and goes too far.

Eyes on a target

The agency may have decided to take such an extreme measure, due to a large number of perceived wealthy tax defaulters. Tunde Fowler, the Executive Chairman of the agency had earlier this month stated its intentions to go after these defaulters.

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.

The FIRS made over N5 trillion last year, and has set a target of N8 trillion for this year.

Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training. He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy. You can contact him via onome.ohwovoriole@nairametrics.com

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