The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) through tax collections generated N2.11 trillion as revenue from January to July 2017 as it promised to improve the nation’s low tax ratio from the current six percent to 15 percent by 2020, thereby curbing the use of tax havens for illicit fund flow and tax avoidance.
This is contained in a progress report of the FIRS from January to July 2017 obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, which showed the revenue performance and impact of the new tax regime.
The aggregate revenue projected in the 2017 budget is N4.94 trillion, out of which oil revenue will contribute N1.98 trillion based on an estimated crude oil production of 2.2 mbpd converted at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar.
Non-oil revenue for the year is projected at N1.37 trillion, which represents about 28 percent of the budgeted revenue.
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Independent revenues, various recoveries and mining will account for the balance of about N1.58 trillion.
A breakdown of the report showed that the FIRS from January to July this year collected N720.28 billion as petroleum profit tax (PPT) while the value added Tax (VAT) revenue collected in the same period was N548.22 billion.
The Federal Government had also collected N679.9 billion as company income tax (CIT) and N91.4 billion as education tax collection.
The report also showed that consolidated tax revenue for the first seven months of the year was N62.3 billion, which already supersedes the N59.8 billion generated from the area in the entire 2016 financial year.
Also, the agency recorded success in boosting its collection of National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF) levy, which went from N6.75 billion in 2016 to N9.87 in the first seven months of 2017.
A further analysis of the report showed that the FIRS generated more money from taxing the non-oil sector compared to the oil and gas sector.
The report showed that non-oil tax revenue contribution was at 65.9 per cent while oil and gas contribution to revenue for the year was at 34 per cent so far.
According to the report, tax improvements recorded so far was due to the latest steps by the service to increase tax collection.
“FIRS have adopted e-services as a medium to achieve innovation, convenience and transparency of its operations to ensure that every effort is made to improve efficiency in collections and tax administrations.
“A 45-day window from Oct. 5 to November 2017 was given to tax payers with tax liabilities to come forward and pay 25 percent of the agreed tax liability, spreading the balance liability while waiving penalty and interest,” the report said.
The FIRS said it undertook a massive nationwide registration exercise of new taxpayers in collaboration with Corporate Affairs Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigeria Customs Service, which may have influenced the relative impressive performance in the period under review.
“We are also carrying out a sector-by-sector tax audit, which have increased compliance across all tax types and taxpayers categories. Over N8 billion have been recovered through this.
“Also, the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) encouraged voluntary disclosure of previously undisclosed assets and income for the purpose of payment of all outstanding tax liabilities to boost revenue collection.
“All this will help improve the low tax ratio from 6 percent to 15 percent by 2020 and curb the use of tax havens for illicit fund flow and tax avoidance,” it stated.
According to the report, the service was instrumental in the signing of a bilateral taxation agreement on double taxation on income and capital gains as well as signing the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Multilateral Instrument, which aims to tackle the issue of base erosion and profit shifting by multinational companies operating in the country.