FIRS Recovers N23bn from 45,000 Millionnaire Tax Defaulters

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Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler,

James Emejo in Abuja

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Tunde Fowler, yesterday said the sum of N23 billion was realised from 45, 000 tax defaulters, who had over N100 million as turnover in their respective bank accounts.

He said the recovery followed a crackdown on defaulters which was carried out in collaboration with other stakeholders including the Nigeria Police Force, adding that another set of 40, 000 millionaire will be targeted in this year.

Speaking when he received the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, who paid him a courtesy visit, Fowler said the Service will will continue to go after wealthy tax defaulters in 2019.

He, therefore, sought the cooperation of the police to help compel tax defaulters to pay their taxes.

In a statement issued by Head, Communications & Servicom Departments, Mr. Wahab Gbadamosi, the FIRS boss noted that it had identified 45, 000 millionaire tax evaders in 2018 and recovered the sum of N23 billion through substitution of their bank accounts.

He expressed gratitude to the police for aiding the success of the crackdown and further requested for more support to enable it recover due taxes from more 40, 000 rich tax evaders in 2019.

He said: “Let me put on record that the Nigeria Police Force has been extremely helpful to FIRS. Without the Police, I doubt that the Service would have been able to achieve what we have achieved. 2018 was a successful year. The FIRS collected a total of N5.320 trillion of tax revenue. This is the highest revenue collection in the history of FIRS.

“This is significant given that this collection was when oil prices oscillated between $50 and $70 per barrel. Oil price was at an average of $100 to $120 per barrel between 2012 when FIRS collected N5.07 trillion. Oil component of the N5.320 trillion is N2.467 trillion (46.38 per cent), while non-oil element of the collection is N2.852 trillion (53.62 per cent).”

Adamu, however, assured of the police continued support as the job of revenue generation is critical to the survival of the nation.

“We feel that the work you do is one of the most important for the survival of the country. And you need to be supported from all angles so that you achieve what you want to achieve to the benefit of every Nigerian.

“We will continue to work with you to improve security so that people would do their businesses here, make profits and pay their taxes. We believe that with the new Management team of the Nigeria Police Force, which is adopting Community Policing, we would be able to improve security,” Adamu said.