FCT-IRS engages tribunal, security agencies to clamp down on tax defaulters



The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) has concluded plans to clamp down on erring taxpayers.

The Acting Executive Chairman of the Service, Mr Haruna Abdullahi, made this known in a statement by the FCT-IRS Head Corporate Communications, Mr Mustapha Sumaila on Sunday in Abuja.

Abdullahi, according to the statement, made the disclosure when he paid a courtesy call on the Coordinating Secretary of Tax Appeal Tribunal, Hajara Oniyangi.

The acting chairman expressed concern at the poor level of compliance by taxpayers in spite of the huge number of taxpayers in the FCT.

He stated that it would no longer be business as usual, adding that the service was determined to ensure all taxpayers in FCT were responsive to their civic duties.

He stressed that the service would not leave any stone unturned, saying it was empowered by law to recover all outstanding tax liabilities while penalising tax defaulters.

“We are engaging the Judiciary, security agencies, the media and other relevant stakeholders on this matter.

“I can assure you that before the year runs out people will be held accountable.

“We have built our capacity and it is our intention to make our mark by ensuring that people do what they are supposed to do according to the law.

He said the Service would be guided by the Personal Income Tax Act, Finance Act, FCT-IRS Act and of course the constitution in it’s operation.

Abdullahi, who assured the tribunal of the capacity of the service, charged members of the tribunal to justify the confidence reposed in them by bringing recalcitrant taxpayers to book.

The acting executive chairman expressed optimism that the exercise would prompt voluntary tax compliance, tax net growth and ultimately boost revenue generation.

The Coordinating Secretary, Tax Appeal Tribunal, Hajara Oniyangi, said the tribunal was established to settle disputes that could arise in the course of the duties.

She disclosed that the Tribunal’s processes were simple and clear with a reputation for prompt judgment delivery.

While lauding Abdullahi’s effort, Oniyangi highlighted the need for the service to intensify awareness, stating that taxpayers could not be entirely blamed for non-compliance.

She said there was a need for tax payers to be duly informed about tax processes, advantages of paying taxes as well as risks of non compliance.

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The Secretary of the tribunal, Mr Ahmed Aliyu, lauded the step taken by the service towards ensuring enforcement.

He pledged commitment of the tribunal to acting within the ambit of the law to ensure that cases from FCT IRS were given accelerated hearing.

He stressed the need for the FCT-IRS to harness all areas of revenue generation as permissible by law.

“If for instance there are organisations that collect personal income tax and fail to remit, it is sometimes difficult to go in there and force them as a service.

“That is why the tribunal was created by government and once judgment is delivered by the tribunal, even if a defaulter wants to appeal, he or she would have to first pay the money,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) was established by FCT Internal Revenue Service Act of 2015.

It is empowered by the National Assembly to administer tax and non-tax revenues accruable to the FCT.

It is responsible for collection of all taxes collectible by a state government in accordance with the Taxes and Levies (approved List of Collection) Act of 1998 as Amended.