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NCC partners FIRS, sets up Committee to deepen transparency, returns from AOL

As part of new drive to grow synergy capable of driving high level of transparency attainable via technology in tax management for Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the returns from Annual Operating Levy (AOL) for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), both federal agencies have sealed an understanding.

The understanding which gave birth to a new Joint Revenue Quality Assurance Committee (JRQAC) was the key outcome of a recent courtesy visit of by chairman of FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, to the the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta at NCC Headquarters in Abuja.

Other activities of the Committee include overseeing staff matters including payments, audit the states and proffer what benefits are accruable to them in terms of taxes collected.

The Joint Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Wednesday this week, according to a source at FIRS.

The new committee will also come up with workable recommendation that will among other things facilitate the Type Approval of telecommunications equipment capable of assessing operators’ revenues.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Prof. Danbatta expressed worry over States indiscriminate shutting down of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) without recourse to NCC in the name of pursuing tax evaders.

According to Danbatta, “This is worrisome as it undermines the capacity to provide telecom services, thereby denying consumers’ quality of services”

The NCC boss went ahead to take the mind of FIRS boss to the Resolution of the National Economic Council on Multiple Taxation, Levies and Charges on ICT Infrastructure in Nigeria dated March 21, 2013 saying the document is very clear on the issues of multiple taxations, levies, Right of Ways (RoWs) among others.

He therefore sought the support of the FIRS Chairman “to help us propagate the provisions of the policy to the Joint Tax Board (JTB)”.

Responding, Fowler who earlier presented his feelings on the taxes being collected from MNOs by the States, averred that his concerns stem from the fact that MNOs do not remit the Value Added Tax (VAT) already charged as at when due.

He said “while some decide when they will remit it but the law stipulates that such taxes must be remitted to the FIRS between 20/21 of each month. Some too have not fulfilled the annual returns”.