Oil price drop: FIRS automates tax platform to mitigate effect on economy

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Wednesday, unveiled a new electronic and automated platform for taxpayers, as part of measures to aggressively mobilise revenue for the country to cushion against the effect of the Coronavirus and the declining price of crude oil.

In a statement in Abuja, Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, stated that the platform would enable taxpayers file transfer pricing declaration and disclosures in Nigeria and enable the government block leakage in tax collection, especially the Stamp Duty collected by banks across the country.

Nami, who tasked the banks to be fully prepared for the adoption of the new compliance programme, especially as failure to comply was not an option, explained that that the FIRS was deploying the automated platforms to ensure 100 per cent compliance.

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He said, “The need for total compliance and aggressive revenue drive is imperative now in view of the recent crash of oil price from $50 to $29 per barrel, which will definitely affect our collection from the Petroleum Profit Tax. Similarly, the outbreak of the Coronavirus has occasioned a global economic meltdown with serious consequences to our economy.

“You will recall that recently about 50 Nigerian oil-bearing trucks could not discharge crude oil to buyers because of this Coronavirus pandemic. This has the combined effect of reducing government revenue target and, subsequently, the provision of infrastructures and social amenities.

“We earnestly need to shore up against the looming economic meltdown. It is on this note that I solicit your cooperation and understanding in the drive to use automation to rev up our revenue so that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will be able to deliver on its mandate.”

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In addition, the FIRS said it held a “One Day Stakeholders’ Engagement for the Review of Draft Information Circulars on the 2019 Finance Act” in Lagos.

The well-attended technical session saw stakeholders from a broad spectrum of the economy carry out a “joint review of six (6) draft Information Circulars developed by the Service on the implementation of the 2019 Finance Act, to ensure quality of the circulars and proper collaboration for implementation of the Finance Act.”

In his Welcome Address at the event, Mr. Nami said the information circulars “are very important tools for clarifying various provisions of the tax law in line with Section 8(1)(t) of the FIRS (Establishment) Act 2007.”

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