James Emejo in Abuja
Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has generated a total of N1.11 trillion as tax revenue in the first quarter of the year, representing a 10.4 per cent increase compared to the N1.04 trillion recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
The latest performance came amid the turbulence in the global economic system, particularly the sharp drop in global oil price occasioned by the outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FIRS, in a statement thursday by its Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Mr. Abdullahi Ahmad, attributed the improvement in revenue generation to a “direct result of blockage of leaks in the revenue flow by the wide-ranging reforms” instituted by the Executive Chairman of the service, Mr. Muhammad Nami, since his assumption of office in December last year.
The service has an N8.5 trillion target for 2020.
The performance had been enhanced by a massive 568 per cent increase in capital gains tax from N96,408,740.90 in Q1 2019 to N643,935,849.06 in Q1 2020.
It also recorded a 522 per cent increase in collection from the NITDEF, which amounted to N691,206,855.85 in Q1 this year, compared to N111,037,797.16 in Q1 2019.
Similarly, Company Income Tax (CIT) increased by 135 per cent to N95,733,194,644.91 in the period under review from N40,696,980,658.52 in Q1 2019, while stamp duty collection recorded 40 per cent increase to N4,750,893,578.48, from N3,386,648,663.85 in the corresponding quarter of last year.
In the education sector, FIRS recorded an 82 per cent increase in its collection of education tax, which amounted to N13,123,624,697.40 in Q1 2020, compared to N7,229,644,397.68 last year.
The service noted that both NCS and Non-Import VAT also increased by 12.4 per cent in Q1 to N63,296,684,819.79 and N266,264,753,625.13 respectively from the Q1 2019 figures of N57,008,866,617.53 and N236,030,481,054.83 respectively.
However, Petroleum Income Tax, Withholding Tax and Personal Income Tax declined in the period under review, a development tax analysts attributed to fluctuations in the price of crude oil in the international market as well as the interregnum witnessed between passing the 2019 Finance Act into law and its coming to effect on February 1, 2020.
Ahmad said: “Since taking the mantle of leadership at FIRS, Mr. Nami has instituted a regime of policy reforms anchored on the deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to block tax leaks and motivated members of staff at the FIRS by restoring a number of their statutory roles hitherto outsourced to private consultants back to the staff.
“Moving forward and as ongoing reforms and deployment of more ICT platforms at FIRS take root in Q22020, the service expects a brighter outlook in revenue collections.”