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With structures in place, we expect 45m Nigerians in tax net by July—FIRS

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The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has revealed that all things being equal, Nigerians that regularly fulfill their tax obligations to the Federal Government will hit about 45 million before the end of July.
In an interview on the sidelines of a function in Lagos recently, Fowler averred that “We already have machinery in place right now and we believe that if we get the required cooperation, that number should go to 45 million before the end of July.”
Continuing, FIRS boss disclosed that increasing the numbers of tax payers in the country remains one of the key targets of the Service since his appointment in 2016.
He said the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) generated N93 billion at the end of the exercise, but was silent on the total cost so that Nigerians can evaluate the comparative advantage and genuineness so far displayed during and after the duration of the scheme.
However, he gave a hint that suggested that not all the said N93bn is in the government coffers, as he observed that “We realised a little over N93 billion. Out of which about N66 billion has been paid. It also helped increase the numbers of tax payers in the country.”
On the after effects of VAIDS, Fowler explained that part of the conditions was that those believed to have been honest in their dealings will not require further audit, but for a few others who failed to provide sufficient information and the service had contacted them to bring forward more information failure, FIRS will take decisive cause of action to drive their compliance going forward.
He revealed further that in the last two years, FIRS had a 100 per cent increase in terms of the number of tax payers: from 10 million to 20 million and that VAIDS has raised the bar in the total number of Nigerians in the tax net.

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