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FIRS: Tax waivers, illicit flows responsible for low revenue

FIRS: Tax waivers, illicit flows responsible for low revenue
February 14
12:30 2020

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it has not been able to meet its revenue target in recent times because of non-discretionary tax waiver grants, illicit financial flows abroad and high overhead costs.

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Muhammad Nami, the FIRS executive chairman, was quoted to have made this remark on Thursday at a senate interactive session with revenue-generating agencies.

“Nigeria loses a lot of revenue through tax waivers granted to big companies which otherwise would have been taxed to buoy up government revenue,” Abdullahi Ismaila, FIRS’ director of communications and liaison department, said.

“Also, illicit financial flow is a major cause of revenue loss to Nigeria. Coupled with this is the operational cost of the FIRS which is also high compared to the statutory provisions for the running of the organisation.

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“I am new in the FIRS but upon my assumption of office, I have discovered that these, among other factors, contributed to making the FIRS unable to meet its target in recent times.”

The chairman canvassed better discretion in granting tax waivers adding that the relevant government agencies are working together to stem the illicit financial flow, especially via profit shifting by multinationals operating in the country.

The FIRS boss urged the national assembly to assist the FIRS in this regard in order to increase government revenue towards the modernisation of public infrastructure in the country.

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