- Admits controversies on VAT collection was a setback, affected reforms
By Dwelleth Morountodun
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has said, despite the global economic challenges occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the disruption of business activities in 2020 by ENDSARS protest, the Service surpassed its target of over 100% of its set target in 2021.
The Service, however, admitted that a major setback faced by the Service which negatively affected the full implementation of its reforms, efficiency and achievements was the very strong opposition mounted against its statutory mandate by certain interests.
Recall that Rivers State Government position on the VAT collection created neck deep distraction with Court litigation on tax collection even as the controversies created dilemmas for many taxpayers as regards the competent authority for tax payment and compliance, FIRS, acknowledged.
However, FIRS, said: “Notwithstanding the limitations faced in 2020/2021, the Service achieved over a 100% of its collection target,” The Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami, stated in the FIRS 2021 Performance Update signed by him.
The breakdown and analyses on sectors showed that: “The FIRS, in 2021 collected a total of N6.405 trillion in both oil (N2.008 trillion) and non-oil (N4.396 trillion) revenues as against a target of N6.401 trillion.
“Companies Income tax amounted to N1.896 trillion, Petroleum Profits tax amounted to N2 trillion; VAT amounted to N2.07 trillion; Electronic Money Transfer Levy amounted to N114 billion; Earmarked taxes amounted to N208.8 billion.
“Non-oil sector contributed 68.64% of the total collection in the year, while oil sector’s contribution was 31.36% of total collection.
“The Service issued certificates for the sum of N147.8 billion tax credit to private investors and NNPC for road infrastructure under the Road Infrastructure Development Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme created by Executive Order No. 007 of 2019.”
The report explained that “In line with the law, 2021 income tax revenue is a function of the outcome of business activities in 2020.
“In that year, the country entered into a second economic recession within 5 years. The recession was occasioned by 5-months of lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. To compound the economic challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, business activities were disrupted by the End-SARS protests.”
It further stated that the deployment of technological tools was a game-changer for the Service.
“Upon the coming into office of the current management of FIRS, it began strategic administrative and operational reforms; and the implementation of new policies that would improve its capacity towards the fulfilment of its mandate.
“The deployment of a new automated tax administration system, the “TaxPro Max” in June 2021 was a game-changer.
“With the solution, taxpayers experienced ease of registration, reporting, payment and issuance of Tax Clearance Certificates while the Service experienced greater efficiency in the deployment of resources thereby leading to improved revenue collection.”
The FIRS stated that strong opposition to its statutory mandates by certain interests posed a major setback in the full implementation of its reforms.
The SA to the FIRS Chairman, on Media and Communication, Mr. Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola, signed the statement on behalf of the Service.