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FIRS insists churches, mosques, NGOs must pay tax

LAGOS—The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has insisted that churches and mosques are not exempted from tax payment.

It argued that the constitution says every citizen must pay tax irrespective of where he or she works just as it describes the use of consultants for tax  collection  as an aberration.

FIRS’s Executive Chairman, Mrs. Ifueko Omogui-Okauru, said this in Lagos.

She said non-government organisations are  not exempted from tax payment.  According to her, “Nigerian law recognises that you are supposed to pay tax except only to the extent of your involvement in charitable activities.

”What Lagos is doing with religious bodies is law. The law has been there all these while. If a church or mosque is involved in doing business, it is subject to pay tax and there is no law that says because you are working in a church and you are earning salary you are not subject to tax.”

Omoigui-Okauru also urged states to encourage and motivate their officers in the collection of tax instead of giving the responsibility to consultants.

She said: “It is not the responsibility of consultants to collect tax. It is the job of tax officers to do that. I am completely opposed to this because it is a way of mortgaging the future of this country.”


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