Don't Miss

Tax evasion: FIRS clamps down on 10 firms

By on December 6, 2014

The Federal Inland Revenue Service on Thursday clamped down on 10 companies in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and arrested some of their managers for failing to file tax returns and remit collected revenues to offset their outstanding tax liabilities.

The service, in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the FIRS Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Mr. Emmanuel Obeta, said the companies owed the government a total of N121m in tax arrears.

Some of the companies whose top officials were arrested by the FIRS included communications firms and hotels.

In the statement, the Regional Coordinator, FCT Region, Mr. Galadima Saleh, who led the joint team of FIRS-FCT Regional Officials and the Special Enforcement and Investigation Unit for the exercise, said the FIRS would let the law take its full course on the tax offenders.

Saleh said the enforcement exercise became necessary following the companies’ refusal to respond to several notices and reminders asking them to fulfil their tax obligations.

He said the exercise was aimed at recovering arrears of taxes accruing to government from Company Income Tax, Education Tax, Withholding Tax and Value Added Tax as well as compelling the companies to file their annual tax returns.

Saleh said, “This exercise is the last option. We had sent a series of letters, notices and even paid visits to the affected companies to remind them of their obligations.

“The Nigerian tax laws are liberal. People tend to forget that we all have obligations to pay taxes and more importantly, comply with the relevant tax laws in the country.

“We want to take this step so that this will serve as a deterrent to other taxpayers who will want to evade tax.”

The FIRS, according to him, now operates a self-assessment regime that makes it possible for taxpayers file their tax returns as and when due.

He said, “However, if the taxpayer refuses to do so or if it is perceived that the taxpayer is under-assessing itself, the FIRS will audit the company’s books and raise the appropriate assessment for the company.

“If the company fails to file its returns or remit taxes, as in the case of Value Added Tax, the FIRS will be forced to carry out enforcement on the company.”

The Executive Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, had on September 25, 2014 directed all field offices across the country to commence full- scale enforcement exercise against corporate bodies and individuals who had not filed their tax returns nor voluntarily fulfilled their tax obligations.

The tax law requires companies, with December 31 as their end of year accounting date, to file their tax returns on or before the end of June of every year, while payments of taxes are expected to be made not later than August ending.