Waiver programme nets FIRS N27.086 billion

08 Mar 2017
Financial Nigeria


Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Tunde Fowler

The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) has realised N27.086 billion from its programme of waiver on tax penalty and interest. This was disclosed on Tuesday in Abuja by the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Tunde Fowler, during an oversight visit by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance to the agency.

Last year, the FIRS announced a 45-day window from October 5 through November 24, for the waiver programme. Taxpayers whose default in the past three years (2013-2015) included principal, interest and penalty, were expected to make a minimum payment of 25% of the principal liability and spread outstanding payments through a mutually agreed plan. The FIRS gave a waiver of all interest and penalty fees accruable.

A total of 2,735 taxpayers were enlisted under the initiative. Fowler said more revenue is expected from the next instalments of the principal to be paid by participants. He also assured the Committee members on a better revenue generation in 2017.

“The aggregate tax revenue collection for the year 2016 amounted to N3.307 trillion which translates to 79 per cent of the government target of N4.200 trillion”, Fowler said.

Fowler also disclosed a leap in the registration of new taxpayers. “Last year, we implemented a nationwide tax registration drive to bring additional taxpayers into the tax net. We were able to bring in additional 814, 000 corporate taxpayers, exceeding our target of 500,000 previously unregistered taxpayers. This was achieved through nationwide taxpayer registration drive, taxpayer engagement and enlightenment,” he said.

The Chairman of the Committee, Babangida Ibrahim, said the visit was to foster an understanding of the challenges faced by the FIRS in revenue generation and to legislate where appropriate.

The tax waiver programme, which was initiated after due consultation with stakeholders, has facilitated the government’s aim to reduce liabilities from penalty and interest fees on taxpayers while promoting voluntary compliance and ease of acquiring tax certificates.

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