Sunday, August 14, 2022

Tax Evasion: FCT-IRS to sanction 90% of Abuja residents

Haruna Abdullahi, acting executive chairman of FCT-IRS, says about 90 per cent of the residents do not file tax returns.

• July 26, 2022
The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS)
The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS)

The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) has warned residents who do not file tax returns to do so or face sanctions.

Haruna Abdullahi, the acting executive chairman of FCT-IRS, who gave the warning at a tax seminar with the theme, “Reviving the Culture of Filing Tax”, said about 90 per cent of the residents do not file tax returns.

The acting chairman, who stressed that only 10 per cent of registered taxpayers were compliant, said the service was working with relevant authorities to ensure compliance.

“From our records, the number of taxpayers under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme is about 120,000.

“Half the figure comprises staff of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the IPPIS platform, those working for Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Area Councils.

“The average number of Taxpayers outside those remitting through the PAYE scheme has remained in the region of 4,000 with a significant percentage of stop filers,” he said.

Mr Abdullahi also warned tax advisors to distance themselves from the unethical conduct of tax advisors who routinely encourage tax agents to doctor records.

He said that besides doctoring records, some tax agents conceal documents required to assess tax dues fairly.

The FCT-IRS boss also expressed concern over the engagement of unprofessional consultants by some taxpayers to prepare and file returns with seemingly wealthy individuals.

According to him, some consultants encourage wealthy Nigerians to file as low as an annual income of N1 million to N2 billion.

He said the service would continue to probe the activities of the agents and consultants.

On the revenue generated over the years, Mr Abdullahi said it had improved from N48 billion it inherited to generating more than N100 billion in 2021.

He said the service planned to increase its collection to N150 billion in 2022 outside unremitted taxes and levies.

Mr Abdullahi said that with the recovery of unremitted taxes and levies, the service hoped to generate N200 billion in 2022.

According to him, the N200 billion projections have been made in line with the 20 per cent of registered taxpayers.

He said with enhanced compliance by the remaining residents, the service would be able to generate between N300 billion and N400 billion.

Mr Abdullahi said there would be room for high employment, low income reduction and enhanced services for residents if the target was achieved.

On the efforts to ensure seamless collection of taxes in the FCT, Mr Abdullahi said the service had leveraged the gains of Information Technology (IT) and other avenues for its actualisation.


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