The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) made a record N3.303 trillion in 2016, its chairman BabatundeFowlerdisclosed in Lagos, shredding earlier reports of the revenue made for the central government by the agency.
Earlier reports had said the agency only raked in between N1.2 trillion and N2trillion for the year, as against N2.92trillion made in 2015.
The new figure reported by Fowler shows that the agency beat 2015 figure, but failed to meet the N5billion target set by the Federal Government for the 2016 budget.
Fowler disclosed the new figure at a breakfast meeting of PEDABO, a tax, audit and advisory firm in Lagos. The event took place at the Civic Centre on Victoria Island in Lagos.
Juxtaposed with the country’s GDP, the N3 trillion plus collected still falls short of the recommended 30 per cent. Nigeria’s tax collection is estimated at 6 percent of GDP.
At an individual level, only 13.4 million people of tax paying status have been captured by state revenue agencies and many companies are also dodging payment.
Fowler disclosed that FIRS added over 800,000 to FIRS corporate taxpayers’ list while States increased their taxpayers’ numbers by 3.4 million.
Kano State added the highest numbers of taxpayers with 900,000 new taxpayers.
The FIRS Executive Chairman said very soon taxpayers will be able to pay taxes online from the comfort of their bedroom.
Also, evidence of payment of withholding taxes will be sent immediately after payment, to the email addresses of taxpayers.
Fowler’s disclosure in Lagos today came amidst some concerns over whether the Federal Government planned to increase the taxes paid by businesses. But Budget Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udomahas debunked the speculation, saying that what government planned is the broadening of the tax collection in the country.
The FIRS, under Fowler has been doing that since he came on board in 2015.