FIRS generates N2.11tr in 7 months

Abuja, Sept. 4, 2017 (TNE) : The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), through tax collections, generated the sum of N2.11 trillion as revenue from January to July, 2017.

This is contained in a progress report of the FIRS from Jan. to July, 2017, showing revenue performance and impact of the new tax regime.

The aggregate revenue projected in the 2017 budget is N4.94 trillion, out of which oil revenue will contribute N1.98 trillion.

This is based on an estimated crude oil production of 2.2 mbpd converted at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar.

Non-oil revenue for the year is projected at N1.37 trillion, which represents about 28 per cent of the budgeted revenue.

Independent revenues, various recoveries and mining will account for the balance of about N1.58 trillion.

A breakdown of the report shows that the FIRS from January to July this year collected N720.28 billion as Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) while the Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue collected in the same period was N548.22 billion.

The Federal Government had also collected the sum of N679.9 billion as Company Income Tax (CIT) and N91.4 billion as Education Tax collection.

The report also shows that consolidated tax revenue for the first seven months of the year was N62.3 billion, which already supersedes the N59.8 billion generated from the area in the entire 2016 financial year.

Also, the service recorded success in boosting its collection of National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF) levy, which went from N6.75 billion in 2016 to N9.87 in the first seven months of 2017.

A further analysis of the report shows that the service generated more money from taxing the non-oil sector compared to the oil and gas sector.

The report indicates that non-oil tax revenue contribution was at 65.9 per cent while oil and gas contribution to revenue for the year was at 34 per cent so far.

According to the report, tax improvement recorded so far is due to the latest steps by the service to increase tax collection.

“FIRS has adopted e-services as a medium to achieve innovation, convenience and transparency of its operations to ensure that every effort is made to improve efficiency in collections and tax administrations.

“A 45-day window from Oct. 5 to November 2017 was given to tax payers with tax liabilities to come forward and pay 25 per cent of the agreed tax liability, spreading the balance liability while waiving penalty and interest.

“FIRS, in collaboration with Corporate Affairs Commission, Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigeria Customs Service undertook a massive nationwide registration exercise of new taxpayers in 2016.

“We are also carrying out a sector-by-sector tax audit, which have increased compliance across all tax types and taxpayers categories. Over N8 billion have been recovered through this.

“Also, the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) encourages voluntary disclosure of previously undisclosed assets and income for the purpose of payment of all outstanding tax liabilities to boost revenue collection.

“All this will help improve the low tax ratio from 6 per cent to 15 per cent by 2020 and curb the use of tax havens for illicit funds flow and tax avoidance,” it stated.

According to the report, the service is instrumental in the signing of a Bilateral Taxation Agreement on double taxation on income and capital gains.

Also, the service had signed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Multilateral Instrument, which aims to tackle issue of base erosion and profit shifting by multinational companies operating in the country.

The report shows there are currently a number of bills at the National Assembly that when passed, would help to improve tax revenue.

Some of the bills include the Stamp Duties Act Bill, 2017 and the Value Added Tax Bill, 2015. (TNE)

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