FIRS to capture 45m Nigerian taxpayers before December

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will capture about 45 million Nigerians as taxpayers before the end of the year.

The Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Mr Babatunde Fowler, said this on Thursday in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital while speaking at the flag-off of the new TIN registration system and consolidated National Taxpayers’ Database for North Central Geopolitical zone.

According to him, over ”the last four years, the economic policies of the current administration have focused on establishing a stable foundation for socio-economic growth and development.”

He stated that with the astute leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the milestones achieved bears ample testimony on the impact that has been made, not only in tax-revenue administration but in the environment of doing business in Nigeria.

Mr Fowler listed the accomplishments to include; the expansion of tax base from 10 million to 20 million taxpayers with the potential for an increase of up to 45 million before year ends explaining that Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection at the sub-national level grew exponentially by 46.11 per cent from N800.02 billion in 2016 to N1.16 trillion in 2018.

He also revealed that FIRS tax collections grew by 53.9 per cent from N3.3 trillion in 2016 to N5.32 trillion being the highest collection ever in the history of FIRS.

Fowler added that N2.85 trillion was collected as Non-Oil Revenue which accounted for 54 per cent of total revenue collection.

The JTB chairman said the Nigerian government paid a total of N135.8 billion as outstanding PAYE tax liabilities owed by Federal MDAs to States from 2002 to 2016 with a total of N31.08 billion paid to the States in the North-Central zone.

“We are confident that this gesture by the Nigerian Government will encourage State Government to also reciprocate and promptly remit all withholding Taxes and VAT due to the Federation Account.

“A positive movement during the same period is Nigeria moving up 25 points in Tax Administration Section of World Bank ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

“This positive progression is also reinforced by the recent listing of Nigeria as one of the ‘top 20 reformers in Doing Business for the year 2020 by the World Bank.

“We expect that more positive country reports will be released by the time the full report by the World Bank is released on October 24th, 2019,” Fowler said.

He said the new TIN Registration System would improve on the efficiency and output of the entire tax administration process.

“It is also meant to provide enhanced convenience to the taxpayers as well as the tax administrators while guaranteeing that each taxpayer’s details are readily available to them at their fingertips at all times and anywhere,” Fowler stressed.

According to him, “the new system possesses the capability to integrate with all relevant agencies by leveraging on already captured data.”

He said that the new system also reduces the burden of taxpayer information management and cost of collection.

“It maintains the identification of an individual taxpayer via assigning of a unique and universal Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN).

“Unlike the old system, it is now possible for any taxpayer to view, retrieve or update his/her tax profile from anywhere 24/7,” Fowler added.

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