The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has reported the sum of N4,178 trillion as its total revenue generated from January to the end of October 2020, representing 99 percent of its N4.23 trillion set target for the period.
The Executive Chairman of the Service, Muhammad Nami, who made this disclosure in his goodwill message delivered at the 2020 Lagos International Trade Fair on Friday, said the agency was able to boost its revenue profile in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic due to support of taxpayers and other stakeholders.
Nami, who puts the gross target set for the Service for the whole year at N5.76 trillion, also attributed the improved revenue collections to efforts by the Service to ease tax payments as well as palliatives introduced during the pandemic to mitigate the burden of taxpayers during the period.
He said: “The Federal Inland Revenue Service has made the payment of taxes easy for taxpayers by introducing e-services such as e-receipt, e-TCC, e-filing, e-stamp duty and e-tax payment.
“Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) are automatically generated for newly incorporated companies by Corporate Affairs Commission. The TIN is displayed on the registration certificate”, Nami added.
On the palliatives, the tax administrator recalled that “the Service understands the plights of taxpayers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why we introduced some palliatives to cushion the effect of the pandemic. Some of the palliatives are as follows:
“Additional window of penalty and interest waiver for the business that pay up in full, the principal portion of their outstanding liabilities between 4th November, 2020 and 31st December, 2020. Provided the outstanding arrears resulted from (a) self-assessment (b) government assessment arising from desk audit, field audit or investigation”, he added.
Clarifying the current position of the agency on extension of monthly WHT and VAT Returns filing for taxpayers who earn their revenue in Naira and are facing challenges in sourcing for FOREX to offset their tax liabilities, still had the option of paying in Naira at the prevailing Investors & Exporters (I & E) FOREX window rate on the day of payment.
He, however, advised: “We wish to state that the window of opportunity for “waivers of penalties and interest on outstanding taxes arising from desk examinations, audit exercises, investigations or all other forms of tax assessment” will close on December 31, 2020.
“Consequently, all concerned taxpayers are to note that after the expiration date of 31st December, 2020, the Service shall recover all outstanding debt with penalties and interest, in accordance with the provisions of the extant tax laws such as “the power of substitution” conferred on it by Section 31 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act 2007”, Nami added.
While noting that the Finance Act 2020 offers a lot of tax reliefs for taxpayers, particularly the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) owners, the FIRS boss solicited the cooperation and support of all taxpayers and stakeholders in the task of increasing the nation’s non-oil revenue by keying into the various e-services deployed by FIRS and also take advantage of the palliatives provided by the Service.