FIRS decries Tax evasion by business owners

FIRS decries Tax evasion by business owners, the federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has reportedly raised concern over what it called a deliberate and new strategies business owners deployed to evade tax.

According to its executive chairman Mr. Babatunde Fowler, he made this revelation in Abuja yesterday that “the tax authorities are aware  the business communities are setting up processes and structures which the legal and tax regime did not contemplate and are struggling to keep up with.”

Fowler during the 13th general assembly meeting and official launch of West African Tax Administration Forum (WATAF) said “Nowadays trade and commerce have become borderles especially with advent of e- commerce, hybrid financial instruments coupled with increased sophistication and tax ingenuity of the army of tax administrators.

In his statement, the Nations concerned bear the effect of the activities of these tax evaders, as such the countries are losing revenues that ought to have been useful in national development.

” It has become necessary that the tax administrators in West Africa re- strategize if they are to live up to their mandate.”

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He pointed out that one of the various means to checkmate these activities  “Is by implementing initiatives to tackle tax abuses.”

While these measures could differ among countries in West Africa, however challenges are similar.

“Collaborating, information and experience sharing among tax administrators across jurisdictions is valuable to addressing the high rate of abusive tax practices among taxpayers.”

Fowler disclosed that in the last two years in Nigeria “We have increased the use of ICT in facilitating tax payers compliance and introduced initiatives to improve interagency  collaboration, all with a view to enhancing tax administration and reduce tax revenue leakages.”

Following this pattern, FIRS have realized increase in tax payers role by getting an additional four million tax payers. In revenue there was an increase of N700 billion in tax payer revenue in 2017 above that of 2016.

Other representatives from West African countries however made their remarks and aligned towards repositioning the tax authorities for a better efficiency in the region.

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