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N28bn unremitted tax collections worrisome – Fowler

FIRS Chairman, Tunde Fowler.
FIRS Chairman, Tunde Fowler.

The chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Tunde Fowler, has described as worrisome, banks’ non-remittance of N28bn taxes they collected on behalf of the FIRS.
Fowler spoke in Lagos yesterday at a Stakeholders’ meeting on tax administration and national revenue agenda.
He was reacting to a comment by a KPMG official who had alleged that FIRS tax collectors “harass” banks warehousing tax collections on the agency’s behalf.
But Fowler said a situation where banks’ were yet to remit about N28 billion of tax collections to the FIRS demanded actions.
He, however, promised that the agency would look into the issue raised by the KPMG official with a view to ensuring banks did not experience any harassment from collectors.
Fowler said there were over 6,000 businesses in Nigeria without records and that the current efforts to recover taxes were based on existing ones.
Fowler, who is also the chairman of the Joint Tax Board, said the board was determined to improve service to taxpayers at all levels, adding that a consolidated Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Data Base was already in place under the JTB.
“The greatest challenge for any tax administration is achieving and maintaining a high degree of self-assessment and voluntary compliance by taxpayers. Studies have shown that the extent to which an economy is able to grow sustainably and develop depends to a large extent on its ability to generate tax revenue to finance its expenditure, and on the efficiency of its tax system,” he said.

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