Taxpayers In Nigeria Increased By 23 Million Within Three Years – Finance Minister

Minister of Finance Mrs Zainab Ahmed

 

The taxpayer’s base in Nigeria has, within the period of three years, increased by 23 million.

This was disclosed on Thursday by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, during a media briefing in Abuja.

Ahmed said the taxpayer’s base has increased from 12 million in 2015 to 35 million in 2018.

According to her, revenue generation remains important for the Federal Government. She added that a total of N2.7 billion has been released as part of capital releases for the first quarter of 2019.

More to follow…

FIRS To Go After Bank Accounts Of Billionaires Owing Tax

Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler, says the agency will soon go after the bank accounts of defaulting taxpayers who are raking in billions in Nigeria and are not paying taxes.

The FIRS boss said over 6,772 of such defaulting billionaire taxpayers have been identified by the FIRS, leveraging on banks data.

Fowler spoke about the issue at a stakeholder’s meeting in Lagos.

“There are Over 6772 of such defaulting billionaire taxpayers that have been identified by the FIRS, leveraging on banks data,” he said.

Most of the affected taxpayers, according to Fowler, have no Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or have TIN and have not filed any tax returns.

He said, “What we have done is what we call “substitution” which also is in our laws which empowers us to appoint the banks as collection agents for tax. 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.

“First, they refused to come forward in 2016, they refused to come forward under VAT and are still operating here. So, we are putting them under notice that it is their civic responsibility to pay tax and to file returns on these accounts.

“We looked at all businesses, partnerships, corporate accounts that have a minimum turnover of N1 billion per annum for the past three years. First of all, the law states clearly that before you open a corporate account, part of the opening documentation is the tax I.D. From the 23 banks, we have analysed so far, we have 31,395 records, out of which effectively minus duplications we had 18,602.

“So, we are putting them under notice that it is their civic responsibility to pay tax and to file returns on these accounts.”

Fowler explained that FIRS had done a thorough analysis of all businesses, partnerships, corporate accounts that have a minimum turnover of N1 billion per annum for the past three years.

“First of all, the law states clearly that before you open a corporate account, part of the opening documentation is the tax I.D. From the 23 banks, we have analysed so far, we have 31,395 records, out of which effectively minus duplications we had 18,602.

“We broke those into three categories: Those that have TIN tax I.D, those that don’t have no TIN and of course no TIN no pay and those that have TIN and have not even paid anything.

“So, on a minimum, every company or business included here over the last three years have had a banking turnover of N3 billion and above. Some of them have had banking turnover of over N5 billion and have not paid one kobo in taxes.

“So, if someone is good in mathematics and you take the minimum level of N3 billion multiply by 409 and they are operating within our society and economy and do not remit or make any tax payment.”

He also called for support from banks in other to fish out the bank accounts of the erring billionaires.

“I plead with the banks to support us, in supporting us, you are supporting Nigeria. In supporting Nigeria, you are supporting all Nigerians and those who have chosen Nigeria as home. And most of all, you are supporting a future that we can leave behind for the upcoming youth of Nigeria.”

He noted that FIRS is also paying close attention to accounts auditing.

“We have started a comprehensive audit exercise that involves both national and regional audit because we got to a position where we found out that majority of the major organisations that were allowed to do self-assessment, do not truthfully declare or pay the taxes that were due.

“Till date, we have raised an assessment of over N805 billion from 1324 National Audits out of which 499 (taxpayers) have N219 billion.”

Ambode Thanks Taxpayers For Supporting Development Of Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday expressed appreciation to taxpayers in the state for performing their civic obligations, revealing that the taxes paid have been judiciously utilized to make life comfortable for the people through implementation of several projects.

Governor Ambode, who spoke separately at Epe and Kosofe Local Governments where he commissioned network of roads, said taxpayers deserve to be commended for their efforts at contributing to the development of the State.

“Our government is very grateful to Lagosians for their prayers and support particularly in the discharge of their civic responsibility through payment of taxes. It is my belief therefore, that we will continue to enjoy your unflinching support as we work together in transforming our State to the Lagos of our dream.

“On our part, we shall continue to ensure that your taxes are judiciously managed and utilized towards making life more comfortable for everybody,” he said.

While thanking the people for their support during the construction of the roads, the Governor urged them to endeavor to get necessary permit before embarking on any construction to prevent demolition of structures for such future road projects.

“As we celebrate 50 years of our dear State, there is no better way to say thank you to all the good people of Epe division than the provision of economic infrastructure that will help make the communities liveable and viable,” he added.