By Imanuel Jannah
ABUJA – As federal and state tax authorities race to bring in new tax revenues to compensate for falling oil revenues, a tax consultant, Mr. Magnus Nmonwu, has advised companies to streamline their tax submissions by putting in place technological systems and processes that enable them to report accurately on revenue and expenses in real-time.
He gave this advice following the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS’, recent approval of a 45-day tax waiver window on penalty and interest accruing from outstanding tax liabilities for the period, 2013 to 2015.
Nmonwu said that as the country struggles to escape from the current economic meltdown, the recent tough tone from tax authorities shows that companies can no longer risk non-payment of tax or incorrect remittances of taxes to the relevant government agencies, whether the reason is deliberate evasion or an accidental oversight.
He said those businesses that have not complied with tax authorities to date may benefit from the waiver by adopting technological processes that will help them to quickly get their tax affairs in order which means they would only need to pay the principle amount of tax they owe, thereby saving a substantial amount of money that would have been paid as penalty and interest accruing from outstanding tax liabilities.
According to him, one of the most common reasons for non-compliance is that many organisations don’t have automated systems for accurate record keeping, precise calculations and deductions, and preparation and submissions of necessary statutory returns.
He however warned that business that fail to take advantage of waiver period and commence real-time tax compliance are bound to face stiff penalties, including fines, punitive interest, and possible criminal prosecution of CEOs and board members, and closure of their offices.
“To take advantage of this golden opportunity, many companies will need to put in place technological systems and processes that enable them to get better visibility into their finances at a fast pace,” he said.