The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will engage the services of audit firms, chartered accountants, tax consultants and other professional service providers in a landmark collaboration to boost non-oil revenue, its acting Executive Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has said.
Speaking at a meeting of stakeholders towards streamlining exchange of information across all the revenue authorities, as well as facilitating the synchronised audit of all companies in the country, Fowler said the proposed collaboration between the FIRS and professional service providers, as well as State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIR), is a turning point in taxation and significantly cut the country’s reliance on oil revenue.
The meeting agreed that information would be shared with members of the National Assembly, particularly on tax laws in collaboration with other professional bodies and relevant stakeholders.
It was further resolved that the FIRS, State Revenue Boards and the various audit firms would carry out joint audits of the various companies to ensure the accuracy of the exercise, enhance transparency and drive compliance.
Fowler said audit and tax consultants are critical stakeholders whose input in tax administration and revenue generation is inevitable in moving the nation away from over reliance on oil revenue.
According to him, the proposed audits would be completed within 30 days and would take cognisance of the various year ends and peak points of activities of the various companies.
He stressed that contribution from the stakeholders was necessary for the expansion of the tax net, information dissemination, building capacity on tax administration, and sharing information that would help to promote voluntary compliance.
He said: “I appeal to you, irrespective of the fact that we have a duty to advise taxpayers, we equally have an obligation to government in ensuring increase in revenue collection. It’s time to stop all forms of unwholesome practices in tax-related issues because Nigerians need us at this critical time to reposition the country for more resources.
“We don’t have all the answers, we need you from both sides to reposition the entire process. All we are asking for is your cooperation to move the nation’s tax system to another level through your support and other stakeholders.”
Fowler said the FIRS, through partnership and consultations with the relevant stakeholders, would aim at shoring up tax revenue and improving on the country’s tax administration.
The Partner, Tax Regulatory and People Services of KPMG, Mr. Ajibola Olomola, urged the FIRS to grant some form of tax amnesty to deserving taxpayers as a way of encouraging voluntary compliance and bringing potential taxpayers into the tax net.