The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Tunde Fowler, has disclosed that his organisation expects to generate N8tn in 2019. He said the FIRS set the new target after it collected the country’s highest annual revenue of N5.32tn in 2018.
Fowler revealed this during FIRS’ 2019 management and stakeholders’ retreat, with the theme: ‘Parliamentary support for effective taxation of the digital economy,’ in Lagos on Monday.
The chairman said, “The parliament is here, the 2019 budget has not yet been approved, but we are here in the corridors of power. The target of the FIRS is in the region of N8tn and with their support and the support of all taxpayers we believe it is achievable.”
It will be recalled that prior to 2018, the highest revenue figure ever attained by the FIRS was N5.07tn, which it generated in 2012.
The FIRS’ generation of N5.3tn, Fowler noted, was remarkable, given that it was achieved at a period when oil prices averaged $70 per barrel compared with between 2010 and 2013 when oil price was at an average of $100 to $120 per barrel.
He added that the FIRS collected N212.79bn exclusively from audit, a figure that arose from 2,278 cases, and with a huge reduction in audit circle. He noted that, although the service recorded increase in revenue collection over the past few years, the cost of collection has been reducing.
Mr Tunde Fowler attributed the steady rise in the collection figures to a series of initiatives adopted and implemented by the revenue service to enhance tax administration and easy tax payment.
Among these, he added, was the deployment of Information and Communications Technology initiatives, which enabled taxpayers to pay taxes from anywhere in the world and at any time.
He said, “With the e-payment channel, one can pay taxes with the click of a button and one can also download their receipts.
“Other e-services are the e-registration, e-filing, -stamp duty and e-tax clearance certificate. Taxpayers can now also choose the tax office where they would like to conduct their tax transactions.”
“We are doing system-to-system integration between banks and the FIRS. And I am happy to announce to you that we had a 31 per cent increase year-on-year in VAT collection in the banks that have gone live between January 2017 to December 2018 and collected N25bn so far,” he added.
“We are also automating the payment of VAT by states through the State Offices of Accountant-General platform. This will ensure that we automate and deduct at source and remittance of VAT and WHT from state government contract payments directly to FIRS’s account and so far, collected N13bn.”
He noted that the number of taxpayers that requested for and processed their Tax Clearance Certificates through tcc.firs.gov.ng grew from 9,574 to 59,350 within a year of introducing the platform.