FIRS targets N4trn from oil & gas firms in 2020

By Chika Otuchikere

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it expects to rake in N4 trillion as tax revenue from the extractive sector of the Nigerian economy in the 2020 fiscal year.

Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, made this known in Abuja when a team from the Nigerian office of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) visited him.

Nami solicited the support of the OECD in stemming the tax evasion scheme of oil majors and multinationals operating in Nigeria through the illegal act of transfer pricing under which foreign firms dodge tax in Nigeria and transfer their profit offshore.

In another development, the FIRS and the Federal Fire Service have resolved to work closer with each other in order to protect public property and records from possible fire outbreak.

Both organisations made this commitment when the Comptroller-General (CG) Federal Fire Service, Dr. Liman Alhaji Ibrahim, also paid a courtesy visit to the FIRS Headquarters in Abuja.

According to Nami, the FIRS needs capacity-building support, information sharing, data interpretation, usage and related technical synergy with the OECD in order for the Service to meet tax revenue targets in the extractive industry and the newly emergent Digital Economy.

The FIRS boss observed that revolution in information and communication technology (ICT) has made physical filing of tax returns obsolete.

However, Nami stated that “ICT has also made tax collection more complex, especially in trans-border trade and trans-continental commerce in which big players like Amazon, Google, facebook, Alibaba and other e-commerce corporations do big business around, drive the digital economy and yet countries find it difficult to take due tax from the huge economic activities these online giants engage in.

This is more so for developing countries like Nigeria where our people buy luxury goods more and more online while these big online stores don’t pay any tax to us here in Nigeria.”

“The complexity of the Digital Economy to the tax authorities also extends to the telecommunication and financial sectors, including the emerging trades and the exchange carried out using digital currency,” Nami stressed.

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