FIRS targets N4trn from oil, gas

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, said it would rake in N4 trillion as tax revenue from the extractive sector this year.

FIRS made this known in a statement by Abdullahi Ahmad, Director, Communications and Liaison Department in the service in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The statement said the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami, disclosed this when a team from the Nigerian office of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, paid him a courtesy visit.

Nami solicited the support of the OECD in stemming the tax evasion scheme of oil majors and multinationals through transfer pricing under which the foreign companies dodged tax and transfer their profit offshore.

The FIRS boss underscored the need for capacity building, information sharing, data interpretation, usage and related technical synergy with the OECD to meet tax revenue targets in the extractive industry and the newly-emergent digital economy.

He observed that revolution in Information and Communications Technology, ICT, had made physical filing of tax returns obsolete.

Nami, the FIRS boss, however, stated that ICT had also made tax collection more complex, especially in trans-border trade and trans-continental commerce.

According to him, in such trade big players like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba and other e-commerce corporations do big business around, drive the digital economy and yet countries find it difficult to take due tax from the huge economic activities these online giants engage in.

He said: “This is more so for developing countries like Nigeria, where our people buy luxury goods more and more online while these big online stores don’t pay any tax to us.

“The complexity of the digital economy to the tax authorities also extends to the telecommunication and financial sectors, including the emerging trades and the exchange carried out using digital currency.”

Similarly, Nami when he received the Comptroller-Genera, Federal Fire Service, Dr Liman Alhaji Ibrahim, commended the service for its prompt response during a fire incident that occurred at its building in 2019.

He called for more synergy and collaboration between the FIRS and the Fire Service.

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