Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS said that more than 440,000 companies operate in Nigeria but only about 120,000 companies pay it taxes.
To check this trend, the FIRS is implementing various reforms initiatives to boost the country’s revenue base and mitigate the drop in Government income occasioned by fall in global oil prices.
The initiatives are structured along the broad areas of automation, process improvement and capacity building.
One of them is the introduction of the Integrated Tax Administration System, ITAS, which automates core tax administration processes and enables online interface between FIRS and taxpayers.
Already, the automation of taxpayer registration has led to the issuance of Tax Identification Number to about 1,189,722 corporate and individual taxapayers as at July, 2015
This was disclosed by the FIRS Acting Executive Chairman,Sunday Ogungbesan, at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.
Ogungbesan said that FIRS plans to bring every business into the tax net so that the economy can survive outside oil through the crack down on tax evaders by denying them access to banking facilities for individuals and companies that failed to join its register.
According to him, “We are collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to enforce compulsory registration with the tax authority by companies and individuals before they can access their bank accounts.”
On plans to increase Value-Added Tax VAT, the FIRS boss said, there are plans to double the value-added tax rate to 10 percent this year to help shore up government revenue eroded by the declining price of oil, the country’s main export, the Federal Inland Revenue Service said.
He said FIRS plans to consult with relevant stakeholders. “Increasing VAT, we want to engage widely first, secure the support of the people. In 2007 when Obasanjo want to leave he introduced it by fiat and thought it would go through but the vibration effect at the end of the day, 8 years after we have not been able to secure it.
“FIRS have always been fighting the taxpayers by dragging them to court, seal off their premises but we have done this for years but it hasn’t yielded any fruit. Now we are pursuing engagement for the next few years. We would talk to the institutions, academic community, Labour and have an understanding.
He however promised to help shore up government revenue by putting more effort in meeting revenue targets after its collection of N1.97 trillion in revenue in the first half was short of a target of N2.29 trillion.

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