Category: Press Release

FIRS Nets N27.086b From Tax Waiver Programme

FIRS Nets N27.086b From Tax Waiver Programme

Registers 814, 000 taxpayers in 2016

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler, has said that the agency realised the sum of N27.086 billion from the waiver of tax penalty and interest programme.

The FIRS Chairman disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the House of Representatives Committee on Finance oversight visit to FIRS.

Fowler also said that FIRS registered a total of 814, 000 new taxpayers in 2016, surpassing its target to register 500, 000 new taxpayers by December 31st, 2016.

“The N27.086billionrealised from the programme came from the payment of a minimum of 25 per cent of the principal of outstanding tax liabilities between 2013 and 2015 and continued payment of agreed instalments. More revenue is expected from installmental payments of the principal”, Fowler said.

The FIRS Chief Executive added that the tax agency would continue to work in the direction of bringing more taxpayers into the tax net as that would translate into more revenue for government.

“We implemented a nationwide tax registration drive to bring additional taxpayers into the tax net. We were able to bring in additional 814, 000 taxpayers into the tax net in 2016, exceeding our target of 500, 000 previously unregistered taxpayers. This was achieved through improved collaboration with State Boards of Internal Revenue and other relevant Federal and State government agencies”.

The FIRS Chairman disclosed that 2,735 taxpayers applied under the tax waiver programme. He assured the House Committee that 2017 revenue generation prospect of the agency was bright, adding that FIRS would explore all avenues to give a better performance in 2017.

“The aggregate tax revenue collection for the year 2016 amounted to N3.307 trillion which translates to 79 percent of the government target of N4.200 trillion”, he said.

Last year, FIRS gave a 45-day window, between October 5th to November 24th, 2016 for taxpayers owing tax liabilities inclusive of interest and penalty for three years (2013 to 2015), to come forward and pay a minimum of 25 percent of their actual tax liability and spread the balance while the penalty and interest are waived.  Such taxpayers must present a payment plan on the outstanding tax liabilities that is acceptable to the Service.

The waiver programme, which came after due consultation with relevant stakeholders, was part of the Federal Government’s efforts to reduce the burden of tax liabilities on taxpayers, promote voluntary compliance and shield taxpayers from the burden of carrying forward old tax liabilities accruing from penalty and interest.

The initiative is not only improving the ease of doing business but has also improved voluntary compliance in addition to contributing to financial savings for taxpayers. Access to Tax Clearance Certificates (TCCs) also became easier for taxpayers who keyed into the programme.

Chairman House Committee on Finance, Hon. Babangida Ibrahim said the visit was to enable the Committee understand the challenges the FIRS is grappling with, legislate where necessary and support FIRS to generate enough revenue to the national treasury. 

Before the Committee members departed Revenue House to inspect FIRS new Headquarters building, they asked the FIRS Chairman questions on the nature of FIRS collaboration with State Internal Revenue Authorities, staff strength, areas of challenge and FIRS strategy for 2017 among others.

Wahab Gbadamosi
Head, Communication and Servicom Department​

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FIRS, Efcc To Launch Anti-Tax Fraud Team

FIRS, Efcc To Launch Anti-Tax Fraud Team

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are putting a new breath to the fight against tax fraud and evasion in Nigeria as the two agencies will soon launch an anti-tax fraud and evasion team.

This collaboration, according to the FIRS Executive Chairman, Tunde Fowler, will ensure Nigeria’s financial security and independence, which he said are key to national development.

Fowler made this known in Abuja today at the opening of International Conference and Capacity Building Workshop on the Use of Beneficial Ownership Information and The Recovery of Assets in Africa. He beckoned on Nigerians and the international community to collaborate in the fight against “any illegality”.

“Corruption is anything illegal. Whether it is money laundering, tax fraud, tax evasion or other illegalities. We must collaborate to fight them. When you are fighting corruption, you are taking back from the corrupt people, what they erroneously think belongs to them. That is why they resist the fight against corruption”, Fowler said. 

The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said that FIRS and EFCC have reached terms on the setting up of an anti-tax fraud team.

“We are setting up anti-tax fraud team to deal with tax fraud and evasion. We have discussed with the Chairman of FIRS and very soon, the team will be set up. We will do everything possible to stop all corrupt people.

“I want everybody to be a part of the fight against corruption. We are all together in this fight. Corruption is what is disturbing this country and like the President, Muhammadu Buhari, said, ‘if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us’”, Magu said.

Magu also said that the EFCC has received complaints about corruption on some Nigerian higher institutions and promised that EFCC in collaboration with relevant agencies will soon beam a searchlight on the higher institutions. 

“We have received complaints from Student Union Governments of some higher institutions, complaining of corruption in the institutions. We will soon beam searchlight on the higher institutions. All we want to achieve is to secure the future of our people”, Magu added.

In his presentation on Beneficial Ownership Of Assets:

The Experience of Nigeria in Confronting Tax Evasion, Corruption and Money Laundering, the FIRS Chief Executive said Nigeria, through FIRS, has been able identify and plug some revenue leakages and also position Nigeria for more revenue generation. 

“Nigeria is committed to working with its treaty partners and other international agencies to ensure increased access and exchange of taxpayer information required for effective tax administration. At the domestic level, the FIRS shall continue to provide a forum for inter-agency collaboration to tackle abusive tax practices, by implementing initiatives to optimise tax revenues.

“The FIRS is collating for tax purposes information on ownership of economic landed property, in collaboration with States Land Registry (starting with the FCT and Lagos State) and leading Estate Agency Firms”, he said.

Fowler noted that FIRS has signed Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (ADTAs) with 13 Countries and also signed up to the OECD/EU Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters Convention (MAC) that has over 130 participating countries.

“Nigeria joined Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Tax Information (GF) in 2011 and has successfully gone through the Phases 1 and 2 Peer reviews.

“Nigeria has also established a functional Exchange of information (EOI) unit in 2012 to oversee an effective system of exchange of tax information with Nigeria tax treaty partners. Nigeria Joined the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in 2016 and committed to implement the minimum standards. 

The country, Fowler said, has commenced process to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) for the automatic exchange of financial account information with other Countries”, Fowler added.

He also noted that FIRS has implemented a framework for tax authorities collaboration with other agencies of government to improve access to and exchange of taxpayer information, including information on ownership of assets. 

“Inter-agency collaboration with organisations like Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIR), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML, has enabled expeditious and confidential access to information on beneficial ownership as and when required for tax purposes”, Fowler added.

Wahab Gbadamosi
Head, Communications and Servicom Department
Federal Inland Revenue Service​

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FIRS Assures Diasporans Of Tax Laws To Protect Their Investments

FIRS Assures Diasporans Of Tax Laws To Protect Their Investments

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has urged Nigerians living in diaspora to invest at home, assuring them that Nigeria has adequate tax laws to protect their investments in Nigeria. 

The Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Tunde Fowler made this remark yesterday in Abuja when he received the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who was on a courtesy visit.

Fowler said every Nigerian, irrespective of country of residence, should be concerned about what to do to contribute to the economic recovery of the Nigeria. He said that bringing investments into the country and tax compliance are measures Nigerians should adopt. He also allayed fears of double taxation on investments, explaining that the law gives room for tax holidays and exemptions for new investments.

He said: “We want to inform you that Nigeria has tax laws which protect your investments. We have signed tax treaties with various countries on double taxation and we can assure you that if you are paying your taxes on their companies abroad, you do not have to pay double taxation. 

“When it comes to the issue of taxation, we are willing to guide Nigerians living in diaspora and show them what to do. They are our brothers and sisters and we need them to come and contribute their monies here to develop our country”.

Fowler said that about 99 percent of Nigerians living abroad are tax compliant in the countries where they reside and urged them to also comply with Nigeria’s tax laws when they return to invest in the country. 

“We are in the times when we have to ask ourselves vital questions; what are we going to do for the country? One of them is to invest in the country. There must be increase in investment, increase in spending and increase in tax revenue if we must get out of recession”, Fowler said.

Earlier, Dabiri-Erewa said that some Nigerians living abroad want to invest at home and sought to know if there are laws that could protect them.

She said that Nigeria received $35 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2016 and hopes that with the assurances of adequate tax laws to promote their investment in the country, the figure will increase in 2017.

“President Muhammed Buhari set up this office not too long ago to ensure the welfare of Nigerians living abroad so that Nigerians both at home and abroad can work together to make Nigeria a great country; so that, wherever you are, you can contribute to the development of the country. Nigerians are excelling everywhere they are and they want to know if there are tax incentives for some of them who want to invest in Nigeria especially in the area of Agriculture”, Erewa said.

Wahab Gbadamosi
H/Communications and Servicom Department​

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FIRS, Nigeria Police Partner To Raise Revenue

FIRS, Nigeria Police Partner To Raise Revenue

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have agreed to collaborate on tax revenue collection and information dissemination through the Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service (NPBS).

The Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Tunde Fowler, while receiving the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Kpotum Idris, noted the blessings of the existing FIRS-NPF relationship and stressed the need for the agencies to explore further areas of collaboration.

Fowler said Nigeria has come to the realisation that taxation is important in the economy of every nation and that no country could do without it especially as the price of crude oil continues to go down across the globe.

“Nigeria has come to the realisation that without taxation, there will be no funding for both the current and future budgets. We have a long-standing relationship with the Nigeria Police Force. Apart from protection, you (the Police) play a vital role during tax enforcement. We believe that, as partners in progress, there are other ways we can partner to generate revenue for the government”, Fowler said.

The IG restated the support of the NPF for FIRS, stating that tax revenue remains the blood of the country. He said that no nation ever succeeded without taxation. 

The Police IG on the other hand said that payment of tax is good for a nation as it compels people to ask questions. Recalling how he paid steep taxes in some countries during his United Nations Mission Programme, Idris noted: “Most developed countries live on taxes and that is why they ask questions to those they pay taxes to. They ask questions on what the state has done with their monies and their governments have to pay attention because tax is a prerequisite before you can do most things”, he said.

The Chief Cop noted that on the part of the Police, the “Nigeria Police is making effort to change the face of policing in Nigeria through introduction of People Oriented Policing strategy”.

The NPF also sought for the support of the FIRS in its communication project—the establishment of the Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service (NPBS).

“Communication is very vital to policing. People need information about the police and what we are doing. Therefore, we are working on the establishment of the Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service (NPBS) and we need your support to realise this project”, Idris said.

A presentation by the Police team shows that round-the-clock information dissemination, emergency numbers and round-the-clock surveillance have reduced crime in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Stressing need for collaborations at all levels, Fowler noted that FIRS has simplified tax collection processes and made payment of taxes convenient through technology by deploying online solutions, namely: e-Registration; e-Stamp Duty; e-tax payment; e-Receipt; e-Filing and e-Tax Clearance Certificate.

“The e-Registration (electronic Registration) enables taxpayers to register with FIRS electronically. To do business with FIRS, one needs to be duly registered. Now, you could get registered and authenticated online by visiting the FIRS website incorporated businesses are to go to: and follow the end to end process which h includes payment of Stamp Duties to complete your incorporation process.

The e-Stamp Duty (electronic Stamp Duty) enables taxpayers to pay their Stamp Duties online. Under the new e-Stamp Duty from the FIRS, stamping could be done from the comfort of your home or office. In the past, it required a physical stamp. The e-tax payment (electronic payment of taxes) allows taxpayers to pay their taxes electronically, from the comfort of their homes and offices using platforms such as e-taxpay, remitta and interswitch”, Fowler said.

The FIRS Chief Executive added that e-Receipt (electronic Receipt) enables taxpayers to receive electronic receipt after payment of taxes while the e-filing (electronic filing) enables taxpayers to file tax returns electronically through the FIRS website (

He noted that e-TCC (electronic Tax Clearance Certificate) provides an e-repository of all Tax Clearance Certificates (TCCs) issued by FIRS and enables FIRS Staff and authorised third parties to verify TCCs, thereby reducing the incidence of fraudulent certificates. 

“Basically, what we have provided for Nigerians is convenience to pay their taxes and we know that this will the level of tax compliance. I like to thank the Police Force for giving their maximum support to Nigerian including when it comes to revenue generation across the country”.

“We are your key partners and we will continue to collaborate to provide service to the Nigeria. Of course, our partnership with the Police will continue to grow strong”, Fowler said.

Wahab Gbadamosi
H/Communications and Servicom Department
Federal Inland Revenue Service​

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FIRS Offers New Tax Regime To Further Compliance

FIRS Offers New Tax Regime To Further Compliance

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has taken a major step to help reduce tax liabilities arising from penalty and interest on taxpayers from 2013 to 2015.

The measure is part of the Service efforts to promote voluntary compliance and shield taxpayers from the burden of carrying forward old tax liabilities as regards to interest and penalty.

FIRS announced in a public notice signed by its Executive Chairman, Mr. Tunde Fowler, that taxpayers in default should come forward to declare their indebtedness within stipulated 45 days while the waiver lasted.

It also required that such defaulted taxpayers must present a payment plan on the outstanding Principal Tax Liability acceptable to the Federal Board of Inland Revenue.

The special window which commenced on October 5, will end on November 24, 2016, and is expected to address accumulated penalty and interest, and not principal tax due.

Fowler, said that the waiver would allow part payment as well as full payment of undisputed tax liabilities which must be paid, while the balance would be paid instalmentally.

He advised taxpayers who have not fulfil their tax obligations to take advantage of the special window to pay a reasonable amount of not less than 25 percent of the principal tax liabilities.

“By this public notice, FIRS invites taxpayers who have not been fulfilling their statutory tax obligations, to take advantage of this special window, failing which all legal means at the disposal of the FIRS will be deployed including criminal prosecution of the Board and Management of the defaulting organisation,” he said.

The Service is relying on the provision of the Companies Income Tax Act CAP C21, LFN 2007 and Federal Inland Revenue Service Establishment Act (FIRSEA) 2007, to offer the special window.

The combined sections stated that: “the FIRS in exercise its powers under Section 85 (3) of the Companies Income Tax Act CAP C21 LFN 2007 (as amended) (and replicated in Section 32 (3) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Establishment Act (FIRSEA 2007) hereby invites all principal officers, especially Chairmen, Managing Directors, Chief Executive Officers, Executive and Non-Executive Directors, Chief Financial Officers and all company owners or their representatives, to take advantage of the special window to avoid payment of penalty and interest on tax due between 2013 to 2015.”

In a related development, the Service has urged taxpayers to file their Companies Income Tax (CIT), Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax (WHT) returns at the FIRS office nearest to their place of business or choice of location.

Taxpayers are advised to apply to the Tax Controller indicating the tax office of their choice and request for the transfer of their file and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

This measure is also expected to ease processes of tax administration, reduce cost for taxpayers and enhance voluntary tax compliance as well as service delivery to the tax paying public.

Wahab Gbadamosi
Head, Communication and SERVICOM Department

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