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Some tax officials are engineering graduates— FIRS boss

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Tax

*Says ‘we are training them’

*CBN holding N45bn stamp duty

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mohammed Nami, on Monday, said some staff the of the Service across the country were graduates of engineering, law and other disciplines not related to tax.

Nami equally said the stamp duty warehoused in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, stood at about N45 billion.

The revenue boss made the revelations at a meeting with members of the Finance Committee of the House of Representatives.

On the staff issue, he said: “On assumption of duty, I discovered that about 1,139 staff were recruited and posted to tax offices across the country to administer tax matters without adequate training.

“Some of these people are graduates of engineering, law and other disciplines. They are not graduates of taxation.

“But they were posted to administer tax for the government. We have begun the process of training these people in tax administration, as a way of improving our operations.”

ALSO READ: How VAT hike may affect you, by experts

Stamp duty

On stamp duty collections, the FIRS Chairman lauded the Finance Act, saying it had given FIRS the express power to collect stamp duty.

His words: “When you make a transfer above N10,000 to somebody, the 50 kobo stamp duty is deducted.

“But these monies do not drop into government’s account as it ought to. They are being kept by the bank.

“What we are working on right now is to ensure that the stamp duty drops into the government’s account immediately. That is the practice across the world.”

On Value Added Tax, VAT, he said as a result of the clause in the Finance Act, which exempt companies below a certain threshold from paying Value Added Tax, VAT, some companies have started devising means of evading payment of VAT.

He said they do this by claiming that their capital base is less than N25 million.

Vanguard

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