FIRS To End Pioneer Tax Relief Racket

Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it is ready to end the systemic abuse of the pioneer incentive scheme, which has led to tax revenue leakages for the three tiers of government.

Speaking during a discussion with members of Forum of State Commissioners of Finance when he visited the FIRS Chairman during the week, Coordinating Director, Tax Operations Group, FIRS, Mr Femi Oluwaniyi lamented that the practice has impacted negatively on revenue generation.

Oluwaniyi disclosed that the FIRS has discovered that pioneer status certificates had been issued to companies that were not pioneers of their fields in the real sense, hence undeserving of such status.

He stated that this development has led to the loss of considerable tax revenue to the three tiers of government.

According to a statement from Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmads, the FIRS pioneer status otherwise granted outside the law would not enjoy tax relief regardless of the certificate issued to them and owners of such certificates were requested to regularise their tax positions otherwise sanctions shall apply in accordance with the law.

Speaking earlier, FIRS Chairman, Mohammed Nami had stated that tax revenue accounts for nearly 70 per cent of what was shared at the last FAAC meeting and lauded the collaboration between the Service and the State Commissioners of Finance, saying this is key to bringing about increase in tax revenue.

He charged the states to focus on other forms of taxes like the Stamp Duty which he described as “the black gold” which has been ignored before now.

He also charged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to scrupulously deduct withholding tax from contracts at the point of payment.

Nami also solicited the states’ support in terms of taxpayer sensitisation campaigns and education, stating that rental obligation was incomplete without the payment of stamp duties.

He emphasised that if these initiatives were pursued at both local and state levels more revenue would be generated.

Team lead of the delegation cum Benue State Commissioner of Finance, Mr David Olofu, congratulated Mr Nami on his well-deserved appointment and on his accomplishments in office so far.

Olofu assured that the states were looking forward to working closely with FIRS in order to generate more tax revenue for the country.


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