The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has realized the sum of N27 billion between 2013 and 2015 as part of efforts to promote voluntary compliance and shield taxpayers from the burden of carrying forward tax liabilities that arose from penalty and interest.
This was disclosed by the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Tunder Fowler at the opening ceremony of the Training programme for Journalists on taxation reportage in Abuja.
The FIRS Chairman, who was represented at the occasion by Mr Olufemi Faniyi, Director, Debt management Department of the service also said that “a massive nationwide registration exercise of new taxpayers is ongoing, rolling in additional 814,000 taxpayers by December 2016 in expanding the tax net”.
He noted that through this strategy, “about 3.4 million taxpayers were brought into the tax met by State Internal Revenue Services (SIRSs), adding that by December last year, Nigeria has a National Tax Roll of 14 million.”
On the Ease of Tax Payment, the FIRS boss said in considering convenience, proximity and ease of tax payment, the taxpayers were asked to file their tax returns at the FIRS offices nearest to them, adding that this novel idea has increased compliance as it eased the burden of taxpayers who have had to travel from far places to pay their taxes.
“Improved collaboration with the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to ensure that MDAs remit taxes such as Withholding Tax (WHT) Value Added Tax (VAT) promptly through the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). GIFMIS is an IT based system for budget management and accounting used to improve Public Expenditure Management processes, enhance greater accountability and transparency across Ministries and Agencies”.
On Tax Education, Enlightenment and Media Campaigns: to engage and sensitise taxpayers, he said the “FIRS established the Federal Enlightenment and Engagement Tax Teams (FEETT) to engage and enlighten taxpayers nationwide”.
Speaking on Inter-agency collaboration, he noted that the synergy with other government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Road Safety Commission, (FRSC), the Immigration Service and the Corporate Affairs Commission is being strengthened.
He added that the deployment of technology, expansion and deepening of ongoing ICT initiatives became a marked feature of the service in its bid to shore up non-oil revenue.