…But surpassed 2017 collection by 21%
…Set to generate N8tr in 2019
…VAIDS yield N92bn

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

Total revenue generated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in the 2018 fiscal year is N5.3 trillion, about a deficit of N1.4 trillion against N6.7 trillion it targeted for the year.

Babatunde-Fowler FIRS Chairman

But despite the shortfall, the 2018 figure showed an increase of N1.3 trillion or 32 percent over the N4.03 trillion generated in 2017.

Data presented by the agency at its 2019 Stakeholders Retreat held in Lagos yesterday, showed that the generated revenue comprises N2.5 trillion from oil tax revenue and N2.8 trillion from non oil tax revenue.

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Speaking to the reasons for the shortfall on the target during the event, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Tunde Fowler said: “A lot of taxpayers do not understand the role of the FIRS. We are a member of the Joint Task Force (JTF). “Our collection is like revenue that we collect on monthly basis and we share it between the three tiers of government. Some times when we talk about our collection a lot of people think the money goes solely to the federal government. We share it between the federal government, states government and local governments.

“So anytime that we do not perform well as expected, that means the financial resources on all three tiers of government is affected directly.

“In carrying out this mandate in this dynamic environment that we find ourselves, the digital economy and other reasons, we have come up with initiatives to ensure we have a robust tax administration.

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“In the 2019 budget, the target for FIRS is within the region of N8 trillion and with their (other arms of government) support and the support of all tax payers we believe that it is achievable.

“We also do have a collection trend analysis for 2018. The highlight of it is that we collected a total sum of N5.32 trillion in 2018. The total collection of N5.32 trillion from January to December 2018 is an increase of N1.3 trillion over collection for the same period in 2017, majorly the highest in history of the FIRS.”

According to Fowler, the automation of Value Added Tax (VAT) collection in key sectors led to a 31 percent increase year-on-year in VAT collection in the banks  with N25 billion generated so far.

He noted that it collected N15.66 billion in 2018 as electronic -Stamp duties, saying that the 2018 figure surpassed that of 2017 (10.9 billion) and 2016 (5.6 billion).

Fowler also mentioned that the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS)  resulted in the voluntary declaration of over N92 billion liability with over N54 billion paid so far by companies.

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On his part, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator John Enoh represented by Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Umoru Kroffi, explained that the retreat was meant for stakeholders to come up with legislations that will drive tax compliance and increase of FIRS annual revenue generation for national development.

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