Taxpayers who have slipped into willful or inadvertent dormancy have been charged to resume their payment of relevant federal taxes to avoid paying the steep penalties for tax default contained in the 2019 Finance Act.
Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, offered this advice in Lagos on Thursday as he concluded his public enlightenment and sensitization tour of the South-West.
According to Mr. Nami, “under the 2019 Finance Act, penalty for default in tax payment has been increased from N20,000 in some cases to as high as N50,000 in the first instance and N25,000 subsequently if you continue to default on paying your tax.”
Mr. Nami stressed that on the other hand, taxpayers who file their returns three months before their due date will get the benefit of early payment and prompt action by receiving a 2% reduction on the amount payable, according to a statement by Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Mr. Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad.
Mr. Nami therefore urged all taxpayers in default across the country to clear their backlog of tax payments immediately to avoid sanctions from the FIRS.
The FIRS boss, who also included a tour of the Service’s offices in Apapa, Eric Moore, Iponri and Awolowo Road, Ikoyi as part of his Thursday’s itinerary, met directly with senior and junior FIRS officials at their workstations to obtain first-hand information on their challenges in the office and on the field, including an on-the-spot assessment of facilities and the condition under which the members of staff work.
Mr. Nami engaged the workers in down-to-earth discussions and asked pointed questions from desk to desk and floor to floor on the challenges the staffers face on the job as he inspected these FIRS offices. He also offered swift remedial solutions to a number of issues brought up by the workers and pledged prompt resolution of others as soon as he returned the FIRS headquarters in Abuja.
Pleasant surprises turned into heartfelt joy among the workers who freely expressed their appreciation of the Executive Chairman’s personal touch and direct approach, which many observed was unprecedented in recent memory in the Service.
The workers assured Mr. Nami that they would redouble their efforts to meet and surpass the N8.5 trillion revenue target set for the FIRS recently by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad
Federal Inland Revenue Service