By: Wisdom Acka
The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-FIRS) is set to achieve between N300b to N400b, if there is improved tax filing compliance by Abuja residents.
This will make room for high employment, curb low income and provide enhanced services to the residents.
Acting Executive Chairman of the Service, Haruna Y. Abdullahi, who disclosed this during a tax seminar on “reviving the culture of filing tax returns”, on Tuesday in Abuja, decried that the 90 percent of FCT residents who registered for tax do not file their tax returns.
Abdullahi added that the Service has observed the worrying trend of engagement of unprofessional
consultants by Taxpayers to prepare and file returns with seemingly very wealthy
individuals being encouraged to file ridiculously low annual income of N1m to N2m.
He disclosed that so far, FCT-IRS raised the figure of Taxpayer Identification
Numbers (TIN) issued from about 10,000 in 2017 to over 1,200,000 number of individuals registered in the Territory.
According to him, the average
number of taxpayers outside those remitting through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme
has remained in the region of 4,000 with a significant percentage of stop filers.
He added that the number of Taxpayers under the PAYE scheme is about 120,000 with half the figure comprising staff of Federal Government Ministries,
Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the IPPIS platform and those working for the FCTA
and the Area Councils.
His words: “Only 10% of the registered Taxpayers file their tax
returns. In response to this challenge and to cushion the effect, the Service has introduced
the Key Account Managers (KAM) who follow up with taxpayers via one on one basis.”
“This year, we intend to increase our collection to N150b and are in good stead to recover
some unremitted taxes and levies taking us to a targeted collection figure of N200b,” he added.
The Chairman stressed, “we must not miss the fact that this collection is only coming from the 20 percent registered
Taxpayers in the territory and we believe that with enhanced compliance by the remaining
residents, we can easily provide a steady annual tax income of N300b to N400b.”
He said that the Service observed with
concern the unethical conduct of some Tax Advisors, who routinely encourage Tax Agents
to doctor records or flatly refuse to make available documents that are needed to arrive at
a fair assessment of taxes due.
“We are enthusiastic that this seminar will address the tools
available to the Service to ensure full compliance in meeting the requirements needed to
ascertain liabilities due and also enforce timely compliance with remittances of any
established liability”, he emphasized.
The chairman said, “We look to the FCTA to provide guidance and political support as the Service aims to achieve efficient revenue collection.
I am confident that the outcome of this deliberation will set a new direction for revenue
generation in the FCT”.