Chairman, FIRS , Alhaji Kabir Mashi
Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Alhaji Kabir Mashi, said Monday that efforts were being made to review the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act in order to eliminate all inherent limitations and boost revenue from VAT.
It also emerged that total revenue from VAT had reached about N590.29 billion within the last 10-months.
Speaking in Abuja at the opening of a nationwide VAT enlightenment campaign, the FIRS boss said the amendment would help to resolve silent issues regarding VAT as well as shore up revenue from taxation.
He said a draft VAT amendment bill was underway to help resolve issues hampering its collection.
Meanwhile a total of N3.8 trillion had been realised by the agency between January and September this year.
Mashi, explained that though VAT was introduced in 1993 to Nigeria, it had become a major contributor to tax collection, providing an average of about
16 per cent of total collection in the last eight years.
According to him, VAT collection had grown from N163.3 billion in 2004 to N659.1 billion in 2011, representing an increase of more than 400 per cent.
VAT is the third highest contributor to tax collection in the last eight years after petroleum profit tax and companies income profit tax.
He said: “Notwithstanding this impressive performance from VAT, we believe that there is significant room for increase tax collection from VAT and this is why we have interactions of this nature with taxpayers.
“We are aware of the challenges faced by taxpayers in complying with the VAT law and we are working to resolve these challenges. We are currently in the process of reviewing the Value Added Tax Act and we will soon come up with a draft VAT Amendment Bill, which will help to resolve these issues.”
Mashi said that FIRS needed to provide direct enlightenment in specific areas of taxation to the general public as part of the Service overall taxpayer education processes and bridge taxpayer s’ knowledge on taxation.
Coordinating Director, Direct Report Group (DRG), FIRS, Mr. Onyekachi Ihedioha, said the event had been designed to evaluate VAT performance as regards rights and obligations of the taxpayers and how the evaluation could impact on the propose VAT law review.
He said: “It is important that we collectively review all grey areas of the law; answer your questions and provide a guide for you to do the right thing.”