FIRS to go after billionaire tax defaulters - Fowler

FIRS to go after billionaire tax defaulters - Fowler

- Billionaires who have refused to pay taxes in the country will have their bank account frozen by the Federal Inland Revenue Services

- This was disclosed on Sunday, September 9, by FIRS chairman, Tunde Fowler

- Tunde Fowler says over 6,772 of such defaulting billionaires have been identified

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said it will go after bank accounts of defaulting taxpayers who are raking in billions of naira in Nigeria and have refused to pay taxes.

This was stated on Sunday, September 9, by the FIRS chairman, Babatunde Fowler, who said over 6,772 of such defaulting billionaires had been identified by the agency through bank data, Punch reports.

Legit.ng gathers that Fowler disclosed this at a stakeholders' meeting. According to him, most of such taxpayers, who had between N1bn and N5bn in their accounts, had no Taxpayer Identification Number, or had TIN but were not filing any tax returns.

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He said: “What we have done is what we call substitution, which also is in our laws, and which empowers us to appoint the banks as collection agents for taxes. So, all these ones with TIN and no pay, and no TIN and no pay, totalling 6,772 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 VAIDS 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 and corporate accounts that have a minimum turnover of N1bn 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 ID. 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 ID; those that don’t have 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 has had a banking turnover of N3bn and above. Some of them have had banking turnover of over N5bn and have not paid one kobo in taxes. Now, the total number of TIN and no pay is 6,772.

“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 youths of Nigeria."

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, on Monday, January 22, said that the agency achieved N4 trillion as tax revenue collection in 2017.

Fowler said this at the FIRS 2018 Management and Stakeholders in Lagos with the theme “Optimizing Tax Administration with Parliamentary Synergy”.

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Source: Legit.ng

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