Thumbs up for FIRS, EFCC as they recovered N29b from tax defaulters

Thumbs up for FIRS, EFCC as they recovered N29b from tax defaulters

- FIRS and EFCC has promised to maintain their partnership in tracking and arresting persons and organisations who evade tax payment

- The organisations disclosed that their collaboration has led to the recovery of N29 billion from tax crimes

- Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC boss, said that the battle against corruption is a joint effort for all Nigerians

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have said that they will strengthen their collaboration to track both individuals and organisations who evade tax payment.

Both agencies revealed that their partnership has brought about the recovery of N29 billion.

A statement from the tax agency noted that the partnership will keep an eye on defaulting taxpayers who also refused to rely on the federal government’s tax amnesty programme: Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) to pay their tax arrears, Premium Times reports.

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The spokesperson of FIRS, Wahab Gbadamosi, said in a statement: “Already, the FIRS-EFCC partnership has led to the recovery of the sum N29 billion Withholding Tax from banks and other financial institutions in the country only between November 2017 and March 2018.”

Tunde Fowler, the executive chairman of FIRS, remarked in his courtesy visit at agency's headquarters that Nigeria, like other nations throughout the world, is making efforts to raise the economic base and would not tolerate tax defaulters.

Fowler said: “There are some issues of non-remittance of Withholding Tax, Value Added Tax and Personal Income Tax. The EFCC has shown support before. When tax defaulters are invited to your office (EFCC), we see result.

"I don’t know how you do it but we see result. Recently, two banks came forward to comply on their own. I think that they must have heard words. We want joint assistance with the EFCC, especially now that VAIDS is over, to make sure that all tax defaulters get the lawful treatment,” Mr. Fowler was quoted as saying.

“I want to let every taxable person in Nigeria know that we are ready to deploy all powers within our disposal to ensure that every tax defaulter is punished according to the law.”

Moreover, Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the EFCC, said the commission is set to continuously detect and arrest defaulters.

Magu said: “People are in a hurry to collect taxes but are reluctant to remit them. It is very distressing. We may put a team together to ensure that whatever taxes collected by anybody is remitted and on time.

"I also want to congratulate you (FIRS) because of the change in the narrative. There is no doubt that there is a real improvement in our tax system.

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"We will collaborate. We had done this in the past when we had a joint training in Kaduna. We will make sure that we do anything you ask us to do as far as it is lawful.”

Magu urged Nigerians to join in the fight against corruption, adding that it is everyone's responsibility.

He said: “Everyone has the responsibility to fight corruption. You may not do it the way Magu does his own. the best approach is for us to agree that corruption is bad. I appeal to everyone to fight corruption even at home. Tell the children that corruption is bad.”

Meanwhile, reported that Bello Maigari, chairman of Amansea cattle market, Awka south local government area of Anambra, said his members were ready to contribute to the economy of the state through payment of all the levies and taxes.

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