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No More Hiding Place for Tax Defaulters -FIRS

Ayodele Afolabi,Abuja

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is to commence enforcement activities against corporate bodies and individuals who have not filed their Tax Returns and failed to voluntarily fulfill their tax obligations by due dates.

The Tax Law requires companies, with 31st December as their End of Year Accounting Date, to file their tax returns on or before the end of June of every year.

FIRS however gave a window — extension of time- up till 31st August 2014 to enable some companies meet up with the requirements of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS).

Acting Executive Chairman, FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, sounded this note of warning Thursday in Ibadan at FIRS, South-West Regional Enlarged Management Meeting (REMM).

He said the Service would be compelled to invoke relevant laws against recalcitrant taxpayers.

Mashi also challenged taxpayers across the country to report unwholesome practices by any FIRS official especially in processing Tax Clearance Certificates (TCC) and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

He said the issuance of TCC is expected to take two weeks after a taxpayer had fulfilled all tax obligations, adding that: “To obtain TIN is free of charge and taxpayers must be ready to speak up when there is a demand from tax officials to facilitate the issuance of TIN and TCC“.

Mashi said that efficiency and effective service delivery to taxpayers must be the bedrock for voluntarily tax compliance and that FIRS Management would not compromise any unethical practice from members of staff.

“Closely linked to this is the issue of high moral and ethical conduct across our offices in the country. I appeal to you to shun unwholesome practices such as touting, forgery, connivance, tax negotiation, leakage of official documents and insubordination. We have reconstituted the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Monitoring Unit (ACTU), FIRS chapter in line with the directive of His Excellency, Mr. President to check such activities within the Service.

“Let us be careful and live above board as there will be no sacred cows in this campaign against sharp practices in the organization“, Mashi said.

Earlier, the Coordinating Director, Field Operations Group (FOG), Mr. Ajayi Bamidele, urged field officers to ensure continuous update of the compliance programme once the necessary steps required by self-assessment regulations have been complied with.

He said that a review of the compliance reports indicated that a lot needed to be done considering the low level of compliance and that there was the need for massive enforcement exercise and audit activities.

“What is left for us to do now is enforcement action on companies who have not filed returns in accordance with the provisions of the tax Laws. Management has therefore directed that all offices are to commence massive enforcement exercise with a minimum of three companies enforced weekly starting from the first week of September 2014.

Bamidele said FIRS has requested for the report on enforcement on some companies and Management has promised to sanction any tax Controller who refuses to carry out an enforcement exercise.

“We are not unmindful of the fact that some few companies applied for extension of time to meet up with the requirements of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). This should however not be an excuse to refuse to carry out an exercise by any office,“ Bamidele said.

The monthly REMM of the FIRS is designed to encourage dialogue between staff at the field offices and bring the Management closer to field operations staff.

Presentations at the meeting include review of technical and operational matters, departmental presentations by the six directors supervising field offices as well as questions and answer sessions.


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