FIRS to block bank accounts of 6772 corporate tax defaulters

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Chairman of FIRS Babatunde Fowler

Babatunde Fowler, executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said that 6,772 corporate bank accounts will be frozen for defaulting on tax payments.

Fowler told Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, that the agency has collected N12.66 billion from billionaire tax defaulters in less than a month.

Saying the law empowers FIRS to appoint banks as tax collection agents, he said: “So, all these ones of TIN and no pay and no TIN and no pay, to the total of 6772 will have their accounts frozen or put under substitution pending when they come forward.

“First, they refused to come forward in 2016, they refused to come forward under VAT and are still operating here. So, we are putting them under notice that it is their civic responsibility to pay tax and to file returns on these accounts.

“FIRS wrote to all commercial banks in May 2018, requesting for a list of companies, partnerships, and enterprises with a banking turnover of N1 billion and above.

“This activity is aimed at ascertaining those companies that are compliant with the Tax Laws and those that are not compliant. So far, non-compliant organizations have paid about N12.66bn.”

While commending the FIRS for their work so far, Ahmed said the ministry of finance will continue to work closely with the agency.

“For us, the directive I have is to increase the tax revenue and that is the most important task ahead of all of us. You have done well. And the reward for good work is more work,” she said.

“I am also glad that you are increasing cooperation with several agencies like the EFCC, ICPC and Nigeria Customs Service. The effort you are doing in Abuja, Lagos and Osun –(on payment of taxes on property using their turnover as a basis for assessment)- is a commendable one and I encourage you to maintain the tempo in generating tax revenues.

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