The Federal Inland Revenue Service has cautioned Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government against the appointment of consultants and concessionaires to collect taxes due to the Federal Government or any of its agencies.
In a public notice seen by The Punch on Thursday, the FIRS said it remained the sole agency of government saddled with the responsibility of tax collection.
In the notice signed by its Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami, the FIRS accused some MDAs of including functions of assessment, collection, accounting and enforcement of taxes and levies in their agreements with concessionaires and consultants.
“It has come to the notice of the Federal Inland Revenue Service that some Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs) are appointing concessionaires or consultants for the assessment, collection, accounting or enforcement of taxes and levies due to the Federal Government or any of its agencie
“Some MDAs include such functions in their agreements with concessionaires or consultants,” the notice, which was released by the Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman on Media and Communication, Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola, read.
Citing Section 68(2) of its Establishment Act, the FIRS highlighted that by law it was “the primary agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria responsible for the administration, assessment, collection, accounting and enforcement of taxes and levies due to the Federal Government or any of its agencies, except as may be authorised by the Minister responsible for Finance by regulation as approved by the National assembly.”
The notice also stated that while Section 12(4) of the FIRS Establishment Act had provided that the Service might engage consultants, accountants or other agents to carry out certain functions on its behalf, the law had expressly prohibited the assessment and collection of tax by consultants.
The statement quoted Nami as cautioning MDAs who were in the business of appointing consultants for tax assessment and collection that they were not just acting against the letters of the law, but were committing offences that were punishable under the FIRS Establishment Act as amended.