• Friday, June 21, 2024
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FIRS says indiscriminate tax waivers fuelling revenue leakages


The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has decried the abuse of the pioneer incentive scheme (tax waiver) instituted by the Federal Government, saying that it has led to tax revenue leakages for the three tiers of government.

Femi Oluwaniyi, Coordinating Director, Tax Operations Group, FIRS, disclosed this in a meeting with State Commissioners of Finance at the Revenue House, FIRS headquarters in Abuja.

Oluwaniyi who commended the state commissioners of finance for their support so far in revenue generation for the Federation, decried the indiscriminate tax waivers and incentives granted to undeserving companies, which according to him has impacted negatively on revenue generation.

“FIRS has discovered that pioneer status certificates had been issued to companies that were not pioneers of their fields in the real sense, hence undeserving of such status. This development has led to loss of considerable tax revenue to the three tiers of government,” he said.

He however hinted that the agency was auditing its findings with a view to pressing for the cancellation of pioneer certificates issued to undeserving companies in violation of the law.

“The pioneer status otherwise granted outside the law would not enjoy tax relief regardless of the certificate issued to them and owners of such certificates were requested to regularize their tax positions otherwise sanctions shall apply in accordance with the law,” he said.

The Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami, in his remark stated that tax revenue accounts for nearly 70 percent of what was shared at the last FAAC meeting and lauded the collaboration between the Service and the State Commissioners of Finance.

“Without this collaboration it would be difficult for government to meet its obligations to the citizenry in such areas as infrastructure development and salary payment, which could lead to social dislocation,” he said.

The Executive Chairman charged the states to focus on other forms of taxes like the Stamp Duty which he described as “the black gold”, emphasising the need to diversify the economy in order to create more sources of taxable income and increase tax revenue for the nation.

He also charged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to scrupulously deduct Withholding Tax from contracts at point of payment.

Nami further solicited the states’ support in terms of taxpayer sensitization campaigns and education, stating that rental obligation was incomplete without the payment of Stamp Duties.

“If these initiatives were pursued at both local and state levels more revenue would be generated,” he said.