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House Seeks Sanctions Against Tax Evasion

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ABUJA, May 24, (THEWILL) – The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has been urged to carry out back duty investigation of all corporate entities that have breached the country’s tax laws.

The Federal House of Representatives, which gave the directive on Thursday, also mandated its Committee on Finance to ensure strict implementation and compliance with the resolution.

The resolution was taken after the adoption of a motion by Hon. Babangida Ibrahim (CPC, Katsina), calling for the urgent need to improve the remission of internally generated revenue into the federation account, through the implementation of back duty investigation.

In the motion, Ibrahim argued that despite efforts of FIRS to curtail tax evasion, recent findings have revealed lots of discrepancies and manipulations perpetrated by corporate entities.

“Corporate companies operating in the country have undeclared income in terms of company income tax, withholding taxes and VAT deducted on contracts to the Federal Inland Revenue Service; and this has led to heavy loss in the internally generated revenue of the federal government.”

He advised that FIRS and its state counterparts should, through their investigating units, carry out back duty probes of corporate entities in order to recover

Contributing to the debate on the motion, Hon. Solomon Adeola Olamilekan (ACN, Lagos) lamented the non-uniformity of figures relating to revenues due the federation account. He said huge amounts of monies were being withheld by the corporations through tax evasion.

Similarly, Hon. Adam Jagaba (PDP, Kaduna) and John Enoh (PDP, Cross River), in their separate submissions, urged the House to do everything within its powers to ensure tax compliance in the country.

Enoh expressed worries that the country was over 70 per cent dependent on oil revenue, and harped on the need to improve on efforts to explore other possible sources of revenue.