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Tax Evasion: FIRS Plans Direct Deductions From Defaulters Bank Accounts, Other Assets

 Babajide Iletogun

The Federal Inland Revenue Service on Wednesday said it would begin direct deductions from tax defaulters’ bank accounts and other assets.

The FIRS stated this in widely publicised notices signed by the Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami.

The direct tax deduction from defaulters’ bank account would help the government recover outstanding tax obligations.

In recent times, there have been rising cases of wilful and illegal withholding of taxes collected by companies, corporations, Ministries, Departments and Agencies and other agents of collection.

The notices to all companies, corporate entities and other agents of collection stated that they were required to pay all outstanding tax liabilities to the FIRS within 30 days from the date of publication of the notice.

It would be recalled that FIRS had previously issued a similar notice to MDAs demanding payment of all outstanding tax liabilities to the Service within 60 days from the date of publication of the notice. 

It becomes clear, following these notices, that any MDA, company, corporation and other collecting agent that fails to comply with the directive stands the risk of having all outstanding taxes deducted directly from their bank accounts or statutory allocations.

Their assets could be seized by the FIRS and turned over to the Government of the Federation in lieu of the withheld taxes.

According to the FIRS, this move is in line with Section 31 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007 (as amended). 

The FIRS, in the notices stated, “Sections 78, 79, 80, 81 and 82 of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) Cap. C21, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 (as amended) and Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act Cap. V1, LFN, 2004 (as amended) imposed obligations on companies, corporations and other relevant persons as agents of collection, to collect, deduct or withhold taxes (as the case may be) on supply of goods and services or payments and to remit same to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (the Service) within stipulated time frame.”

The notices added: “In addition, the Service shall take all necessary steps to prosecute defaulters for wilful negligent, tax evasion, unlawful conversion of government property, etc. as the case may be.”

ENDS

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