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Published On: Thu, Apr 12th, 2018

FIRS, EFCC to go after tax defaulters

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By Etuka Sunday

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have agreed to beam their searchlight on tax defaulters of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration.
Both agencies have also agreed to deepen and strengthen their collaboration to track both individuals and organisations who refuse to pay the right taxes.
Already, the FIRS-EFCC partnership, according to the FIRS, has led to the recovery of the sum N29bn Withholding Tax from banks and other financial institutions in the country.
The amount was recovered between November 2017 and March 2018.
The Executive Chairman of FIRS, Tunde Fowler on Tuesday said this during a meeting with the Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
He said that just like other countries across the world, the Federal Government is looking inwards to raise revenue from taxes and as such would would not tolerate tax defaulters.
He said, “There are some issues of non-remittance of Withholding Tax, Value Added Tax and Personal Income Tax.
“The EFCC has shown support before. When tax defaulters are invited to your office (EFCC), we see result. I don’t know how you do it but we see result.
“Recently, two banks came forward to comply on their own. I think that they must have heard words. We want joint assistance with the EFCC, especially now that VAIDS is over, to make sure that all tax defaulters get the lawful treatment.”
Fowler said the government would deploy all powers within its disposal to ensure that tax defaulters are prosecuted in line with the tax laws.
“I want to let every taxable person in Nigeria know that we are ready to deploy all powers within our disposal to ensure that every tax defaulter is punished according to the law,” he said.
Magu, according to the FIRS statement said the EFCC is ready to do more to bring tax defaulters to book.
Magu said, “People are in a hurry to collect taxes but are reluctant to remit them. It is very distressing. We may put a team together to ensure that whatever taxes collected by anybody is remitted and on time.
“I also want to congratulate you (FIRS) because of the change in the narrative. There is no doubt that there is a real improvement in our tax system.
“We will collaborate. We had done this in the past when we had a joint training in Kaduna. We will make sure that we do anything you ask us to do as far as it is lawful.”
The EFCC boss urged every Nigerian to join in the fight against corruption, saying everyone has a role to play.
“Everyone has the responsibility to fight corruption. You may not do it the way Magu does his own. the best approach is for us to agree that corruption is bad.
“I appeal to everyone to fight corruption even at home. Tell the children that corruption is bad”, he said.

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