• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Stop assigning tax assessment, enforcement to consultants – FIRS to MDAs

FIRS leverage technology to capture informal sector in tax net

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has warned ministries, departments, and agencies of government (MDAs) to desist from using consultants or concessionaires to collect taxes owed to the Federal Government or any of its agencies.

The FIRS gave this warning on Thursday in a statement signed by Muhammad Nami, its executive chairman, who reiterated that it remains the only agency of the government saddled with the responsibility of tax collection.

Citing section 68(2) of its enabling Act, the FIRS insisted that it is the primary agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria responsible for the administration, assessment, collection, accounting, and enforcement of taxes and levies due to the government or any of its agencies, except as may be authorised by the minister responsible for finance by regulation as approved by the National Assembly.

The notice also stated that although section 12(4) of the FIRS Establishment Act allows the engagement of consultants, accountants, or other agents to carry out certain functions on its behalf, the law expressly prohibits the assessment and collection of taxes by consultants.

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“In view of the foregoing, where any person, individual or corporate, has any information or assistance that may be of use to the service for the purpose of administration, assessment, collection, accounting or enforcement of taxes and levies due to the Federal Government or any of its agencies or for the performance of its duties under the FIRSEA, such person should approach the service directly with such useful information,” the statement stated.

Nami warned that MDAs appointing consultants for tax assessment and collection were not only acting against the letters of the law but also committing offences that were punishable under the FIRS Establishment Act as amended.

“Furthermore, appointment or authorisation of any person, other than by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, to assess, collect, enforce or account for taxes constitutes an offence under Section 68(3) of the FIRSEA, such appointment or authorisation is punishable, upon conviction, with fine, imprisonment or both under Section 68(6) of the Act,” he said.