FIRS nets N2.5tn tax revenue in eight months

Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, Tunde Fowler

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has disclosed that a total of N2.51trillion was generated from taxes between January and August this year.

The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler, said this in Abuja at the 20th anniversary lecture and awards of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria.

Out of the amount, he said oil taxes contributed about 65 per cent, while taxes from oil sources contributed the balance.

He added that the agency was able to achieve the revenue collection through innovative ways of tax administration.

Fowler stated that a lot of reforms had been implemented by the service to ensure voluntary compliance with the tax laws.

He said the service had also put in place strategies to increase the amount generated from non-oil taxes.

The FIRS boss stated, “To close the gap in low oil tax revenue caused by the fall in the price of crude oil and the incessant destruction of oil and gas facilities in the South-South region, the service introduced innovative strategies to raise revenue from non- oil sources.

“This has resulted in the collection of a total tax revenue of N2.5tn between January and August, 2017.”

Speaking on the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme, which was formally launched in June by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Fowler said it was designed to encourage voluntary disclosure of previously undisclosed assets and income for the purpose of payment of all outstanding tax liabilities.

He explained, “The scheme is expected to help expand Nigeria’s tax base and therefore improve the low tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio from the current six per cent to between 10 and 15 per cent.

“It also seeks to curb the use of tax havens for illicit fund flow and tax avoidance.”

He added that the scheme was being implemented across the states in collaboration with the 36 states’ internal revenue services and that of the Federal Capital Territory.

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