Tax compliance: FIRS creates 35 additional tax audit units

Uba Group

BY VICTORIA ONU , ABUJA

THE Federal Inland Revenue Service has created 35 additional Tax Audit Units in the last one year and deployed experienced staff to take charge of the offices.

The Service said this was aimed at improving the level of tax compliance and stem illicit financial flow out of Nigeria.

The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, disclosed this in Abuja at a workshop on effective audit of multinational corporations for domestic revenue mobilisation in Nigeria.

He said, “At the FIRS, we are paying greater attention to tax audit in general and Transfer Pricing audit in particular in order to improve the level of tax compliance in the country.

“As a result, in the last one year, we have created more than 35 additional Tax Audit Units and deployed experienced and capable staff to take charge of these offices.”

Nami also revealed that Nigeria lost about N5.4trn through tax evasion by multinational companies operating in Nigeria.

He said the revenue was lost within a 10-year period, covering 2007 and 2017.

He cited a 2014 report by the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, which stated that “Nigeria accounted for 30.5% of money lost by the continent through illicit financial flows.”

Although Nami observed that some multinational corporations were leading in tax compliance in various sectors, he expressed worries that “many rich Multinational Corporations do not pay the right taxes due from them, let alone pay their taxes voluntarily.”

He charged participants at the event to come up with a methodology that would be used to uncover illicit financial flows and provide an overview of related policy options for enhancing tax revenue collection in general.

He further stated that with the signing of the 2021 budget of N13.58trn on 31st December, 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari, and given the recent decline of oil resources, which had been the major revenue earner for the country, taxation was expected to continue to shoulder the Government’s Budget performance the way it did in 2020.

He added, “This underscores the importance of this workshop, as tax audit of Multinational Corporations is very crucial in Nigeria’s domestic revenue mobilisation.

“For me, this workshop is an important step towards boosting compliance level; and I have strong hopes that its outcome will further increase our efforts at driving tax compliance among Multinational Corporations in Nigeria.”