Nigeria’s tax collection body, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it will go after an estimated 85, 000 millionaires currently on its watch list for tax evasion and default this year.
Tunde Fowler, executive chairman of the FIRS sounded this warning when he received Mohammed Adamu acting inspector general of police, (IGP) who paid him a courtesy visit, said Wahab Gbadamosi, head, communications and servicom department of FIRS, in a statement.
Fowler said that FIRS identified 45, 000 millionaire tax evaders in 2018 and recovered N23 billion through substitution of their bank accounts.
He explained that N23 billion was realised from over 45, 000 tax defaulters that had over N100 million as turnover in their accounts.
The FIRS boss said that the service would go after another estimated 40,000 millionaire tax defaulters in 2019 and called for collaboration with stakeholders like the police to continue to go after wealthy tax defaulters in 2019.
Fowler requested the Nigeria Police to help the service bring the tax evaders to pay their taxes. He thanked the Nigerian Police Force for its support and collaboration over the years in assisting FIRS to achieve its target.
“Let me put on record that the Nigeria Police Force has been extremely helpful to FIRS. Without the Police, I doubt if the service would have been able to achieve what we have achieved,” Fowler said, adding that 2018 was a successful year because the FIRS collected a total of N5.320 trillion of tax revenue, the highest revenue collection in the history of the service.
“This is significant, because 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.” he said.
“Oil component of the N5.320 trillion is N2.467 trillion, which represents 46.38 per cent, while non-oil element of the collection is N2.852 trillion, which is equal to 53.62 per cent,” he explained.