Senate Laments N17trn Tax Waivers by FIRS in Five Years

February 20, 2024
FIRS taxes

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Senate Committee on Finance has declared that the country lost about N17 trillion to tax waivers in the last five years, and sought alternatives to stop the country from losing much-needed revenue.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Sani Musa, disclosed this on Monday during an interactive session with the management team of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

It was established that the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari granted tax waivers to some corporate organisations as part of efforts to ease the cost of doing business.

Recall that during the budget defence last December, the Senate Committee on Appropriations asked the federal government to stop the tax waiver because it was reducing the revenue of the country.

The committee’s chairperson at Monday’s plenary reactivated the call and urged the federal government to consider a rebate system as an alternative to tax waiver.

“Available records show that within the last five years, about N17 trillion has been lost by the country to tax waivers. It should be suspended and possibly substituted with a rebating system,” the committee chairperson said.

The senator urged the FIRS management to increase its revenue projection for the year and consider a total stop to the waiver of tax to selected corporate organisations.

“Your (FIRS) projection of N19 trillion as total tax collection for 2024 is good when compared to N11.16 trillion achieved in 2023, but the Senate believes that you can do more even to the tune of 30 trillion if required measures are put in place.

“As impressive and encouraging the performance and projections of FIRS are under your leadership, this committee and by extension, the Senate, on a serious note, urge you to look at the direction of tax waivers largely being abused with attendant and avoidable losses being incurred on yearly basis,” he stated.

Providing a way forward, the chairperson of the FIRS, Mr Zacch Adedeji, assured that his team would collaborate with the committee set up by President Bola Tinubu to review the tax reforms and fiscal policy.

“President Bola Tinubu has seen the issue of multiple taxation as a pool of problems that is why he set up the presidential committee on tax reforms and fiscal policy. The mandate he gave to the committee was that they should work on only one digit tax.

“As of today in Nigeria, we have 62 types of taxes being collected. The sad news about that is that less than eight out of the entire 62, accounted for 97 per cent of the collection.

“So, the others are just constituting problems. However, because we run a federation and we have laws, anything that has to do with motor parks and road taxes among others, are under the purview of the state,” the FIRS boss stated.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

Leave a Reply

Bargain hunters NGX
Previous Story

NGX Loses N1.822trn as Investors Liquidate Stocks as Hardship Worsens

Prof Ben Nwabueze
Next Story

Prof Ben Nwabueze to Buried February 29 in Anambra

Latest from Economy