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Why FIRS blocks $10bn tax leaks by multinationals

* Targets N3.7trn oil tax, N4.8trn non-oil tax revenues in 2020

Alexander Davis

In its continued efforts at boosting taxpayers’ base, highlighting the positive impacts of the national Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) registration system, and engendering trust in individual and corporate taxpayers in Nigeria, Mr. Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has said that the agency now is determined to stop an annual tax revenue loss of about $10billion.

ConsumerConnect gathered that the development was as a result of alleged illicit profit shifting by multinational corporations operating in the country.

Nami said such a colossal amount sum of money should change the fortunes of Nigerians, if captured and properly channelled to address the frightening infrastructure deficit.

Speaking on Friday, in Abuja,

The FIRS boss, quoting from the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report at the start of the Service’s 2020 Management Retreat at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Friday, February 7, in Abuja, FCT, said: “Africa is losing $50billion through profit shifting by multinational corporations.

About $10billion of this amount is from Nigeria alone,” he declared.

He, therefore, emphasised the pressing need to end serial losses by smashing all identified tax avoidance schemes by individuals and corporate organisations.

In a statement by Abdullahi Ismaila, Director of Communications, FIRS, Nami revealed that his Management had launched a comprehensive, tax collection reform process “anchored on four cardinal pillars of rebuilding FIRS’ institutional framework; robust collaboration with stakeholders; building a customer or taxpayer-centric Institution; and a making the FIRS data-centric institution.”

He added that the Board and Management team have also set a target of improving the Service’s performance over the next four years by a “minimum target of $5 million staff-to-revenue- ration and a 10% tax-to-GDP ratio.”

Showing that the FIRS was gradually weaning Nigeria off its dependence on oil revenue, Nami disclosed that non-oil taxes “accounted for 60% contribution to the total collection” of taxes in 2019.

“For the year 2020, we have a target of N8.5 trillion. This is broken down into oil tax of N3.7 trillion and non-oil taxes target of N4.8 trillion,” he disclosed.

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