By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) collected the sum of N4.2 trillion between January and September.
The Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, disclosed this on Thursday while receiving a delegation of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, led by its National President, Chris Isiguzo, in his office, in Abuja.
“It will interest you to know that the Service collected a total of N4.2Trillion between January to September, 2021. This feat was achieved as a result of the efficiency and effectiveness of the TaxProMax Solution and intelligence/data we gathered, mined and analyzed in the period under review,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by Johannes Wojuola, Special Adviser (Media and Communication) to the Executive Chairman.
Nami also said that the Service had proposed the introduction of Road Infrastructure Tax in Nigeria, to make the informal sector contribute to building a modern society.
He said the proposed Road Infrastructure Tax to be administered by FIRS, will provide government with adequate funding for road construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance, as well as providing the needed security for roads in the country.
According to the Chairman, “The only way to make the informal sector contribute to building a modern society is by making them pay when they use the roads.” He stated.
“That is why we are proposing that government should consider introducing Road Infrastructure Tax in Nigeria.“
He noted that “in many jurisdictions, road users pay for the use of road infrastructure as such it shouldn’t be seen as an additional burden on our citizens because it has the potential of making life better for all of us.”
Speaking further, Nami stated that Nigeria’s economy presently relies heavily on non-oil revenues to discharge its statutory responsibility of paying salaries and providing social amenities to the citizenry.
“Without the tax that you pay governments at all levels would not be able to fulfil their mandate to the electorates. Tax money also helps to ensure the roads you travel are safe and always in good condition,” he said.
Nami also stated that despite sharp practices by some companies who were in the habit of evading taxes, by shifting their capital and profits to tax havens, as well as low revenue from Petroleum Profit Tax, due to the shortfall in crude oil production among other factors, the FIRS has been putting forward critical reforms that have been yielding positive impact on the Service’s operations.
“Adopting technology in tax administration is crucial in improving domestic revenue mobilization in view of dwindling oil prices in order to avoid falling into debt crisis. It is against this backdrop that the TaxPro-Max became the channel for filing Naira-denominated tax returns effectively from 7th June, 2021.
“The TaxPro-Max enables seamless registration, filing of returns, payment of taxes and automatic credit of withholding tax as well as other credits to the Taxpayer’s accounts among other features. The technology also provides a single-view to Taxpayers for all transactions with the Service.” Nami explained.
The Chairman also noted that the management of the Service had established two critical units, the Intelligence, Strategic Data Mining & Analysis Department (ISDMA) and the Tax Incentive Management Department (TIMD) as part of institutional reforms to generate more revenue and forestall revenue leakages.
The Chairman highlighted that these reforms put in place were already yielding result, including the collection of the sum of N4.2 Trillion between January and September, 2021, the successful facilitation of ISO 27001:2013 Certification of the FIRS’ Exchange of Information Centre, and the achievement of 114.66 percent of the VAT collection target in the first half of the year.