House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee on the Accounting Procedures of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, yesterday summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, on allegation that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is guilty of non-compliance of tax return.
The committee also queried the decision of the FIRS to withhold tax refund due to some companies which were victims of multiple taxations, even when the sum of N7.5billion was approved and released by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, OAGF.
Speaking before members of the committee, chairman of the FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler accused NNPC of non-compliance with the issue of tax return.
On the taxable profits of companies, Fowler admitted that he could not give any specific information regarding the amount until the audit report for last year was ready for assessment.
On why companies were involved in oil trading businesses in the country for over a decade without paying taxes, Fowler told the committee that the information regarding that could only be gotten from the Customs Service which handles import and export duty collection.
The FIRS boss hinted that his agency was never part of the decision to grant tax waivers to companies doing business in Nigeria.
The committee chairman, Hon. Michael Enyom wondered why the FIRS would request and receive the said amount only to sideline some companies which should have benefited from the refund.
In raising the queries, he requested some documents from the agency which include list of tax waivers and its beneficiaries; list of all taxable entities from 2007 till date; evidence of bank deduction from source from 2010 till date; details of outstanding payment by NNPC and other companies and explanations as to why withholding taxes were not returned as provided for in the nation’s statute book.
He said: “In the case of tax refund, the N7.5billion released on19th December, 2014, report arising from the committee’s investigation reveals that some of the said approved cases were not implemented as monies received were not paid to all those who were listed in the request.”
Chairman of the committee therefore ruled that copies of the said presidential directive be made available to the committee before Friday this week.