By Felix Khanoba
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, says the Federal Government will not accede to request by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the exemption of its members from certain tax payments under the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS).
Mr Idris was reacting to recent reports by ASUU that IPPIS was making huge deductions from their salaries and allowances to the extent that their take-home was reduced to 50 per cent or less of their earnings.
The Accountant-General, according to a report on Premium Times, said the observed deductions were occasioned by the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax system, which is compulsory for all salary earners in the federal public service.
He said prior to migration to the IPPIS payment platform, university lecturers underpaid PAYE tax as a result of the application of the wrong rate for the deduction.
In computing the tax deductible from the salaries and allowances of the university lecturers, Mr Idris said the IPPIS complied with Section 34 of the 6th schedule on Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act of 2011.
He said the request by ASUU and other unions that they should be exempted from certain payments under IPPIS amounted to an attempt to “formalise tax evasion through IPPIS” and was “not only untenable, but also an unpatriotic request to violate extant laws on tax.”
He revealed that the Federal Government has paid back state governments N98.3 billion tax liabilities owed them by Nigerian universities’ lecturers under the PAYE tax system.