FIRS targets N4tr tax revenue from oil companies

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Tuesday, March 3; revealed that it expects to rake in N4 trillion as tax revenue from the extractive sector of the economy in the 2020 fiscal year.

This was disclosed by its Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami.

According to a statement, he spoke in Abuja when a team of the Nigerian office of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) visited him at the Revenue House Headquarters of FIRS.

Nami urged the OECD to participate in the fight against tax evasion schemes; employed by oil majors and multinationals operating in the country.

Some oil companies engage in tax evasion through illegal act of transfer pricing; under which they dodge tax in the country and transfer their profit offshore.

According to FIRS chief, the service needs support in the area of capacity-building, information sharing, data interpretation, usage and related technical synergy with the OECD; in order to meet tax revenue targets in the extractive industry and the newly emergent digital economy.

Nami said the revolution in information communication technology (ICT) has made physical filing of tax returns obsolete.

“ICT has also made tax collection more complex; especially in trans-border trade and trans-continental commerce in which big players like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, and other e-commerce corporations do big business around, drive the digital economy; yet countries find it difficult to take due tax from the huge economic activities these online giants engage in.

“This is more so for developing countries like Nigeria; where our people buy luxury goods more and more online while these big online stores don’t pay any tax to us here in Nigeria.

“The complexity of the digital economy to the tax authorities also extends to the telecommunication and financial sectors; including the emerging trades and the exchange carried out using digital currency,” Nami said.

In another development, the FIRS and the Federal Fire Service have resolved to work closely with each other to protect public property and records from possible fire outbreak.

Both organisations made this commitment yesterday in Abuja when the Comptroller-General (CG) Federal Fire Service, Liman Alhaji Ibrahim; also paid a courtesy visit to the FIRS Headquarters in Abuja.

Nami commended the Fire Service for coming to the rescue of the FIRS last year during a fire incident that; “occurred in FIRS building in 2019 and the prompt response received from your organisation.”

Ng daily

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