Hard times await tax evaders this year, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said.
The agency has launched a national intelligence gathering system to prevent tax evasion.
The system will gather data that will be used to expose tax evaders.
FIRS Executive Chairman Muhammad Nami stated this on Wednesday in Abuja during a visit to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye.
Nami added that the service is restructuring its system to enable it surpass its 2020 revenue target.
He said: “The intelligence gathering system is Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based and is being implemented in close collaboration with the ICPC and other anti-corruption agencies as well as financial institutions to tackle economy-based crimes, including money laundering.”
Nami explained that the FIRS is improving it’s “collaboration with the ICPC to track tax fraud and block all revenue leakages to ensure that we raise the revenue for the government to fund its budget. We need the data and intelligence which you have to help us track tax evaders and bring them into the tax net”.
Prof. Owasanoye said the ICPC was open to share data with the FIRS to track tax evaders, defaulters and tackle illicit financial flow in Nigeria to raise the revenue profile of the government.
“The collaboration between the FIRS and the ICPC is very important to Nigeria. One of the cardinal objectives of this Board of the ICPC is to widen the tax net. When we come across any company that is not tax compliant, we refer such companies to the FIRS. We have referred over 500 companies to FIRS. We want them to be captured in the tax net so that they continue to pay their taxes,” he added.
Nami said the FIRS Board had approved many reform projects, which the Management of FIRS tabled before it, noting that repositioning the service is being anchored on four cardinal pillars, namely, “rebuilding FIRS’ institutional framework, robust collaboration with stakeholders, building a customer (Taxpayer)-centric and data-centric institution.”