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FIRS moves to block tax evasion ploy by multinationals

.......says $10 billion evaded in taxes by multinationals

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it has shifted focus to detecting and blocking tax avoidance efforts by multinational corporations operating in Nigeria.

Disclosing this at the FIRS management retreat in Abuja on Friday, Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman, FIRS
said this had become necessary considering huge loses to Nigeria currently put at about $10 billion through profit shifting by multinational corporations.

Nami explained that the FIRS 2020 revenue target of N8.5 trillion which is slightly lower than the 2019 target of N8.80 trillion is achievable with the ongoing reforms and business process re-engineering that are taking place in the service.

He said “These reforms are aimed at improving both filing and payment compliance, re activation of dormant taxpayers through aggressive information gathering and sharing and blockage of leakages”.

Nami stressed that the retreat titled “Repositioning FIRS for efficient service delivery” is apt, as the service going forward would be anchored on four cardinal pillars including; Rebuilding FIRS institutional framework, robust collaboration with stakeholders, building a customer (Tapayer)- centric institution and data centric institution.

The Chairman said “The N8 5 trillion target is broken into oil tax target of N3.698 trillion and non-oil tax target of N4.807 trillion. One may look at this target as ambitious, but I can assure you that it is achievable and realizable”

“We have revised the organizational structure of the service that reflected management aspirations, reviewed TCC’s administration process and issuance program to general public”.

“We gave ourselves a target of a minimum of $5 million staff-to-revenue ratio and 10 percent tax to GDP ratio over the next four years”, he said.

Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, Chairman, Senate Committee on finance in his remark said that there are outlined agenda at the Senate to monitor the progress or otherwise of every revenue generating agencies with a view to correct lapses and ressolve challenges.

He said the momentous occurrences indicates the federal government intention of repositioning the service for efficient service delivery to expand the revenue base of the government.

“The Senate will not shy away from legislative interventions where necessary as well as a robust oversight of all revenue generating agencies. The ultimate goal is to ensure that government have revenue for needed development in all sectors and address the issues of recurrent budget deficit”.

“It is clear that the federal government expects much from the reinvigorated FIRS in delivery of it’s mandate more than ever before”.

The President, Institute of chartered accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) the retreat is quite timely as the nation continue to find viable alternative to incease it’s revenue base.

“One cannot overstate the importance of this gathering as it aims at making FIRS more effective, efficient and to source feasible alternatives to improving revenue generation in the country”

He explained further that there is need for the service and all stakeholders to leaverage on the opportunities provided by the Finance Act 2019 to create a better future for the country tax system.

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