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How FIRS Plans To Realise Its Revenue Target -Fowler

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it plans to realize its revenue target for the year through recoveries from defaulting millionaire taxpayers, values added (VAT) and compliance enforcement activities.

The Chairman of FIRS, Tunde Fowler, said in January that the agency’s revenue collection target for 2019 was about N8 trillion.

Mr Fowler told the House of Representatives joint committees on Finance, Appropriations, Aids, Loans and Debt Management Legislative Budget and Research and National Planning and Economic Development that he hopes about N750bn would be realized from about 55,000 defaulting taxpayers during the year.

Mr Fowler, who spoke on the 2019/2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), said using banking information to bring non-compliant taxpayers with N1 billion and above turnover to comply about N23.25 billion has been recovered so far.

He also restated that 85% of VAT collected goes to State Governments. He said the exercise has been extended to cover those with turnover of N100 million and above.

“To date, about 500 of the tax defaulters have come forward and have paid about N24 billion. We believe we should be able to go through the 55,000 before the middle of this year.
“In terms of estimates we should be able to be able to generate from this exercise alone about N750 billion.”

Besides, Mr Fowler said the FIRS also expects that the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) collection between 2015 and 2018 will continue during the year.

He said FIRS is already broadening its VAT collection scope with the adoption of States Accountants Generals (SAG) collection platform, VAT Auto-Collect, integration of the GIFMIS platform with Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs) and through e-Service payment options.

Out of about N5.3 trillion, a large percentage of the revenue is shared between states and local governments.’ In VAT, there has been a growth of over 44 per cent between 2015 and 2018 at the current rate of 5 percent.

“When you look at Africa as a continent, Nigeria still has the lowest VAT rate. When we look at the items that do not attract VAT, they include basic food items, medicals, and education.
Insisting VAT is not for the poor, Mr Fowler said if one is able to go to a restaurant to eat and drink the same thing one can buy in the open market, then one can pay VAT.

“So, VAT basically is a consumption tax, and those who choose not to go to the open market to buy their food and cook at home are subject to VAT. So, VAT is not a hardship on the low income earners.

“For those who have the ability and the desire to take the choice of going to areas where they have to pay VAT, then they should be allowed to pay VAT,” he added. He said revenue collection by FIRS increased by about 32 per cent from N4.02 trillion in 2017 to N5.3 trillion in 2018.
The FIRS Chairman told the committee that through enforcement activities in respect of defaulting taxpayers from various tax offices, tax audit and investigation assessments, the agency recovered about N28. 51 billion and $77. 83 million.

Also, the FIRS is partnering with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Joint Tax Force (JTF) since 2018 to enhance the fight against tax related economic fraud. As at December 2018, he said about N6. 94 billion and $278,430 had been recovered by the JTF as part of initiatives to boost revenue generation.
To deepen tax revenue collection and expand the nation’s tax net as well as increase the revenue base, Mr Fowler said the FIRS also initiated income tax on property owners in Abuja and Lagos.

He said the initiative, which was initially targeted at property owners in Abuja and Lagos, has so far yielded N4.3 billion, and is being extended to other locations like Oyo and Kaduna states.
“It is important to note that this is not a property tax, but rather the use of the provisions of the law to bring into the tax net companies that own properties but failed to file necessary tax returns and pay appropriate taxes due,” Mr Fowler said.

On tax audit exercise of the Service, the FIRS boss said this will cover both the National Tax Audit (NTA) and the Pioneer Audit (PA). The NTA exercise contributed the sum of N212.79 billion to tax collection in 2018.

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You Cannot Benefit From Country You Curse – Shettima Warns Nigerians

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Kashim Shettima has warned Nigerians against hauling curses on the country as a result of the hardship, stating that it would be impossible for abusers to benefit from a system they have abused.

He stated that there are a lot of opportunities in Nigeria and therefore urged Nigerians to count their blessings instead of putting the country down through words.

In his words, “Let us count our blessings. Let us not put our country down.

He emphasized that, “It cannot be tales of woes all the time. As bad as things are today and with all the inflation, there are sectors that are doing incredibly well. The health sector is doing very well.

The petroleum sector is doing well. The Agric sector is doing well, for those who are planting cassava.

“People buy it there on the farm. I am not saying that things are easy. The government has come with very tough reforms.

“However, you have to position yourself in the reform. If you go out and say Nigeria is a shitty country, forgive my French, you are going to get shitty results.

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Foreign

President Bola Tinubu steps aside as ECOWAS Chairman as his tenure comes to an end today (Sunday).

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The 65th Ordinary Session of the Authority is holding at the Presidential Villa in Abuja where he is expected to pass on the torch to another leader.

The Military leaders of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso rule out returning to ECOWAS even as President Bola Tinubu leads Heads of State of the 15-member bloc in a Summit in Abuja to persuade them to return.

“Westerners consider that we belong to them and our wealth also belongs to them. They think that they are the ones who must continue to tell us what is good for our states. This era is gone forever; our resources will remain for us and our populations,”
says Burkina Faso’s leader, Capt. Ibrahim Traoré.

“”Our people have irrevocably turned their back on ECOWAS,” Niger’s General Abdourahamane Tiani says.

“The attack on one of us will be an attack on all the other members,” insists Mali’s leader, Col. Assimi Goïta.

The trio signed a confederation treaty on Saturday, underscoring their determination to chart a joint course and exit the bloc which is urging them to return to democratic rule.

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Celebrities

Every girl needs you in their life” – Sharon Ooja pens touching note to Bisola Aiyeola for redefining friendship

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Nollywood actress and newly married Sharon Ooja has penned a touching note to her bestfriend and colleague, Bisola Aiyeola

In a lengthy post on her Instagram page, she stated that every lady needs a friend like Bisola in their life as she described her as a friend after her own heart.

Affirming her love for her, she appreciated Bisola for all she did for her during her wedding and for sticking close to her. Calling her a sister and best friend, she stated that she is strong because of her

She noted how Bisola always knew where her head was without asking her and appreciated her for helping her redefine friendship.

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