FIRS makes N12.66bn from tax defaulters, to freeze 6,772 accounts



The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler has disclosed that in less than a month the agency commenced its substitution of accounts of recalcitrant billionaires who have not been paying commensurate taxes, N12.66 billion has been collected as tax.

Fowler made this known when he received the new Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, during her spot visit to the Revenue House in Abuja.

The agency Chairman maintained that about N12.66 billion has been pulled into the government coffers.

Fowler said the FIRS wrote to all commercial banks in the country as at May 2018, requesting for a list of companies, partnerships, and enterprises with banking turnover of N1 billion and above.

This activity, according to Fowler, is aimed at ascertaining those companies that are compliant with the tax laws and those that are not compliant. So far, the non-compliant organisations have paid about N12.66 billion.

“The FIRS will continue to implement initiatives that will drive compliance and generate revenue by continuous taxpayer enlightenment; implementation of the Auto VAT Collect in other sectors of the economy; simplification of the tax processes, especially for small taxpayers; strengthening collaboration with other agencies such as the Corporate Affairs Commission, states’ boards of internal revenue; Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; and the Nigeria Customs Service,” Fowler said.

He also said 6,772 corporate bank accounts will be frozen for defaulting on tax payments.

Saying the law empowers FIRS to appoint banks as tax collection agents, he said: “So, all these ones of TIN and no pay and no TIN and no pay, to the total of 6772 will have their accounts frozen or put under substitution pending when they come forward.

Recall that about eight companies in Lagos, Benin, and Abuja had been shut down by the FIRS over tax evasion. The companies were said to be owing to a total of N1.90 billion.

The coordinated operation began with the closure of Enabled Business Solutions Limited which is located in Lekki, Lagos. The company was reportedly owing the FIRS about N32.7 million.

Other companies that were affected during operation are the offices of Pinehill Limited (N17.90 million), and Livingproof Limited which owes N20.306 million.