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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

House of Representatives orders FIRS to recover over N5.19 trillion in unpaid taxes

Resolution Prompts Investigation into Alleged Tax Evasion by Government Agencies and Oil Companies

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The House of Representatives, in a decisive move on Thursday, called upon the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to initiate efforts to retrieve outstanding taxes amounting to over N5.19 trillion owed to the Federal Government. This directive ensued from the adoption of a motion presented by Esosa Iyawe, representing Oredo Federal Constituency of Edo State, titled “Alleged non-remittance and under-remittance of tax by ministries, departments, and agencies of government, oil companies, and other organisations.”

Iyawe’s motion shed light on a concerning trend of tax evasion and underpayment plaguing various sectors. He highlighted instances where companies failed to remit taxes, citing a staggering sum of N17.69 billion owed by untraceable entities. Additionally, audit reports from 2015 to 2019 uncovered substantial debts owed by government agencies and companies, totaling N5.2 trillion in withholding taxes.

The lawmaker underscored the detrimental impact of tax evasion on the nation’s economy, emphasizing the adverse effects on national development initiatives due to the shortfall in revenue. He emphasized the urgent need for action to prevent further strain on Nigeria’s already fragile economic landscape.

Iyawe’s motion garnered support from fellow legislators, prompting the House to task the FIRS with launching a comprehensive tax recovery campaign. Furthermore, the Committees on Public Accounts and Finance were mandated to investigate instances of non-compliance with tax remittance regulations by government agencies, oil companies, and other entities. The aim is to ensure the recovery of all outstanding tax debts owed to the federal government.

The House’s decision reflects a concerted effort to address systemic issues surrounding tax evasion and non-compliance, signaling a commitment to bolstering revenue streams essential for driving the country’s development agenda. The outcomes of the investigations are eagerly anticipated, as they hold the potential to instigate meaningful reforms in Nigeria’s taxation framework.

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