NON-DISCRETIONARY tax waiver grants, illicit financial flows abroad and high overhead costs have been identified as major reasons why the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) failed to meet its tax revenue targets in recent times.
A statement from FIRS signed by Abdullahi Ahmad, Director, Communications and Liaison Department said the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, gave this insight on yesterday in Abuja during a Senate interactive session.
According to Nami, “Nigeria loses a lot of revenue through tax waivers granted to big companies which otherwise would have been taxed to buoy up government revenue. Also, illicit financial flow is a major cause of revenue loss to Nigeria.”
He also noted that the operational cost of the FIRS is also high compared to the statutory provisions for the running of the organization. “I am new in the FIRS but upon my assumption of office, I have discovered that these, among other factors, contributed to making the FIRS unable to meet its target in recent times,” he said.
Consequently, Nami canvassed better official discretion in granting tax waivers, even as he assured that he is working hard at the FIRS in collaboration with relevant government agencies to stem illicit financial flow, especially via profit shifting by multinationals operating in the country.
The FIRS chief urged the National Assembly to assist the Service in this regard in to increase government revenue towards the modernization of public infrastructure in the country.