- FIRS Captures Three Million New Taxpayers in Five Months
The Federal Inland Revenue Service on Monday said it had been able to increase the total number of taxpayers in the country from 10 million as of June this year to 13.03 million presently.
The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, disclosed this in Abuja at the opening session of the 136th meeting of the Joint Tax Board
He said the increase was a demonstration of the resolve of the government to diversify the economy by generating revenue from non-oil sources.
According to him, out of the 13.03 million taxpayers, about 8.55 million of them are individual payers, while the balance of 4.48 million are corporate entities.
Giving a further breakdown of the tax figures, the FIRS boss, who is also the Chairman of the JTB, said Lagos State, with 4.08 million, accounted for the highest chunk of taxpayers; while Kano State, with 1.24 million and Osun State, with 560,000, followed respectively.
The states with the least taxpayers, according to Fowler, are Gombe, with 33,387; Jigawa, 39,490, Bayelsa, 61,228; and Imo, 62,727, respectively.
Fowler said the target of the Service was to ensure that the number of taxpayers hit 20 million, adding that this would only be achieved with better collaboration between the federal and state governments.
He lamented that currently, the interaction between the FIRS coordinators and their counterparts in the states had not been regular, noting that this was a major challenge to tax administration.
The FIRS boss said, “The lack of exchange of information on tax audit planning and programme, and tax enforcement activities is a challenge that must be addressed.
“Members are not demonstrating the desired push for implementation of automated collection and payment process of Withholding Tax and Value Added Tax at the offices of the state accountants general.”
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), said that the efforts by the Federal Government to diversify the economy away from oil had made it imperative for revenue generating agencies to increase the level of their collaboration.
He said currently, the NCS had entered into a collaboration with the FIRS, adding that such a synergy was what was needed to assist the government to raise more revenue.