5 May 2014

Nigeria: FIRS Boss Bemoans Decrease in Tax

The acting executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Kabir Mashi, has raised an alarm over the establishment's performance this year, lamenting that it has fallen short of the expected target.

According to him, for the quarter of this year, the FIRS had a total non-oil tax collection of N418 biilion as against a target of N558 billion, indicating a shortfall of N140 billion at this stage of the year.

The FIRS chief executive disclosed this at a two-day regional enlarged management meeting organized by his establishment for the South East region in Owerri. "In addition, our non-oil tax collection has dropped from N155 billion in January to N133 billion in February and further to N130 billion in March.

These results are not impressive and we must do everything possible to ensure that we reverse this negative collection trend", he cautioned. Marshi explained that his emphasis on non-oil tax collection was because of government's intention to raise non-oil revenue as a means of making up any shortfall from oil revenue and the fact that non-oil revenue had become the basis upon which we are funded.

The FIRS acting chairman while urging his field operations group to refocus fully on the core function of tax collection. He reminded them that the significant support already received from the highest levels of government must be justified by meeting and surpassing the set targets.

He commended the Minister of Finance for assisting the FIRS in seeking technical support which has resulted in bringing in "Mckinsey and Company" to assist in the implementation of a non-oil tax revenue capacity enhancement programme.

The programme, he said is based on eight key initiatives in the areas of audit, arrears and debt enforcement, tax exemption, evasion of rented taxes, taxing high net worth transactions, registration, filing and utilizing communication as a means of enhancing compliance.

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