Lawmakers Approve N168.809bn Budget For FIRS
The House of Representatives has approved the sum of N168.809 billion for the Federal Inland Revenue Service for the 2020 fiscal year.
This followed the receipt and adoption of a report by the House Committee on Finance during plenary on Tuesday.
The report presented to the House by Senator James Faleke reads, “That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Finance on the 2020 budget of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and approve the recommendations therein” (Pursuant to Order Eighteen, Rule 41(2)(h) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives) (Committee of Supply)”.
It stated that, a total expenditure of N168.809 billion be approved to defray the proposed Personnel, Overhead and Capital expenditure cost of the Service during the fiscal year 2020.
The report further provides that the digitalization of all processes in the administration of tax in FIRS should be undertaken so as to catch up with rapidly increasing economic activities most often carried out on-line without physical presence.
It also seeks that FIRS (Establishment) Act and other tax laws be amended to make it possible for FIRS to modernize its operations with relevant technology while also accepting the need for the Service to have an Intervention Fund and recommends approval of One-Off Special Purpose Fund to the tune of N100 billion.
The report clarified: “This fund will expressly assist the FIRS fund its immediate but pressing needs such as completion of the FIRS Head Office building complex within twelve months, six (6) Training Schools, 30 Prototype Tax Operations Offices, Purpose-built facilities for efficient taxation of the Upstream Petroleum Industry and ICT infrastructure to identify and track digital transactions.”
Giving a synopsis of the report, the committee’s chairman explained that the revenue estimates were based on the 2020-2022 MTEF approved by the House with the inherent benchmarks.
He said the report was to guide the agency in its operations.
The recommendations contained in the report were voted on and approved by the House 1:4.
It could be recalled that, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mohammed Nami, had during a budget defence before the House Committee on Finance disclosed that the agency projected N70 billion as revenue from stamp duty collections this year.
He said that the agency had introduced a new tax called flagship tax through which taxes are collected and that stamp duties would boost the revenue profile of the agency speedily.