Senate Directs FIRS to Retrieve All Money from Tax Evader

The Executive Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammed Nami has been directed by the Senate to retrieve all money from tax evaders within 90 days and remit it to the consolidated revenue fund. Mr. Muhammed Nami was also directed to retrieve a total of 32.45m into government coffers with evidence submitted to the Auditor-General of the Committee.

This was as a result from the report made by the office of Auditor General of the Federation for 2015, the IFRS discovered that some companies with unidentifiable addresses evaded taxes to the tune of N17.69 billion.

The Senate made the decision based on the recommendations made by the Committee on Public Accounts in its report on the audit of the auditor-general’s queries for the fiscal year under evaluation.

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The Senate also ordered the FIRS to penalize its officers engaged in suspected contract duplication and splitting between 2014 and 2015 after considering and adopting the committee’s conclusions.

In 2015 report, it was stated that the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation has issued queries to the IFRS, 104 other ministries, Agencies and Department of the FG, which the senate supported.

In the query against the IFRS, the Auditor General noted that the IFRS has failed to recover the total sum of N17, 690,341,565 which is made up of VAT, company income tax, withholding tax, education tax, and NITDEF from different entities.

“Although the FIRS claimed to have recovered N2,879,152, 077.76 in its response to the question, but the existing verified recoveries made by FIRS were N273, 038,474.74.

IFRS also responded that several entities were also found to have missed filing deadlines for their annual returns, because of unidentifiable addresses and changes of location.

After adopting the report of its query committee, The Senate asked the Chairman of the FIRS to recover the revenue and remit them to the CRF, also companies involved be blacklisted, and several FIRS officers for allegedly overlapping and splitting contracts, should be exposed and penalized.

The Parliament stated, “Evidence of compliance should be provided to the Public Accounts Committee.”

A contract for the sum of N32,667,600 given by FIRS was split and dispersed to four firms whose bids were previously rejected, primarily to accommodate the chairman’s approval ceiling, contrary to Financial Regulations 2921,” according to the enquiry.

“The audit also discovered that the agency granted a total of N32,449,743,61 contracts under recurrent expenditure in the 2014 financial year and paid for them in January 2015, in violation of Financial Regulation 414(b).”

In response to this, the FIRS claimed it appealed a recent Federal High Court verdict in Port Harcourt Rivers State that stripped it of its VAT collection authority

As a result, the Senate ordered the FIRS to return the funds to the government and provide documentation of compliance to the Office of Auditor General of the Federation  and the committee.

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