If passed into law, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will be the main collector of Value Added Tax (VAT) and other taxes that should accrue to the federation from January 2022.
This is contained in the Finance Bill 2021 which President Muhammadu Buhari submitted to the National Assembly on Tuesday.
According to the Finance Bill 2021, the Federal Government wants the “FIRS to be the primary agency of the Federal Government responsible for the administration, assessment, collection, accounting and enforcement of taxes and levies due to the Federation, the Federal Government and any of its agencies except otherwise authorised by the Finance Minister”.
The Bill demands a mandatory payment of the “gross revenue collected by federal ministries, departments or agencies to the federation account or consolidated revenue fund as the case may be except otherwise authorized by law”.
It adds that “any officer who violates this requirement may be liable on conviction to imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of N5million or both.”
The Bill further provides that “any person or agency of the Federal Government must refer matters requiring tax investigation, enforcement and compliance to the FIRS”.
Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, the Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) told The Nation: “I don’t think VAT is the focus of the amendment.
“It’s targeted at other MDAs trying to collect various taxes, perhaps the likes of NIPOST trying to collect stamp duties”.