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Nigeria Intends To Fulfill 2016 Tax Revenue Target

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

05 February 2016

After missing its revenue targets in 2015, Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service will look to boost tax compliance rates to increase non-oil tax revenue collections.

Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Executive Chairman Babatunde Fowler was speaking at FIRS 2016 Annual Corporate Strategy Retreat. He said that he was "not very happy" with the agency's collections in 2015 of only NGN3.73 trillion (USD18.74bn), against a revenue target of NGN4.57 trillion.

"The above outcome was clearly unacceptable and not a reflection of our capacity," Fowler said. "I am particularly not pleased with the very poor collection of value added tax (VAT), which should be a high yielding and easy to collect tax." He noted that FIRS now expects to earn NGN2 trillion from VAT, or 40.35 percent of its total revenue budget, in 2016.

He confirmed that "dwindling oil receipts provide FIRS with a window to diversify the nation's revenue base away from oil. FIRS will employ a blend of carrot (voluntary compliance) and stick (enforcement) to ensure FIRS attains its goal of 90 percent compliance this year," confirming that, to that end, the agency will collaborate with state governments, tax consultants, and major audit firms.

Having recently disclosed that FIRS has already instigated a nationwide campaign to widen the country's tax base by substantially increasing the numbers of both corporate and individual taxpayers in 2016, he disclosed that it is also undertaking a VAT and withholding tax monitoring and taxpayer registration exercise.

He added that "these efforts have started to yield results, as 361,451 new corporate taxpayers have been registered within the last three months, while our target is 500,000 new corporate taxpayers by the end of the first quarter of this year."

TAGS: compliance | tax | value added tax (VAT) | Niger | Nigeria | budget | audit | enforcement | withholding tax

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