The Federal Government has vowed to sell the properties of tax evaders in the country. This was disclosed by the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler. Fowler said the government is not only willing to sell properties built and developed in corporate names across the country on which taxes were not being paid, but will freeze thousands of bank accounts.
The FIRS boss further stressed that the total number of companies with Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) that are defaulting is 6,772. According to Fowler, the Nigerian government will freeze the bank accounts of the companies.
The Chairman while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, said the FIRS generated a total of N3.5 trillion from taxes between January and August this year, more than N1 trillion higher than the revenue for the same period of 2017.
Regarding the taxes generated, Fowler noted that the country still had one of the lowest tax revenue to Gross Domestic Product ratios in the world.
“On paper, it looks good but the main issue I want to point out here is that the majority of taxpayers that accounted for this revenue have not changed; the laws have not changed; and to a great extent, the consultants to the companies equally have not changed.
“Even at current prices, the oil revenue cannot fund our nation. The only way is for us to have a high level of tax compliance and focus on the non-oil sector. A major component of the non-oil happens to be Value Added Tax, and we have found out that a number of businesses collect VAT and do not remit to the government”, Fowler added.
FIRS had earlier announced that it has generated a total of ₦1.17 trillion in the first quarter of this year, from the collection of various taxes against ₦778.19 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
According to Fowler, the agency had collected the sum of ₦1,171,588,583,152.96 from January to March 2018.