The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), says it will soon go after the bank accounts of some 6772 billionaires not currently paying taxes, according to Tunde Fowler, chairman, FIRS.
Fowler said that most of such taxpayers, have between N1bn and N5bn in their accounts and that such individuals have no taxpayer identification number (TIN) while those who have TIN have not filed any tax returns as taxpayers.
“What we have done is what we call ‘substitution’ which also is in our laws which empowers us to appoint the banks as collection agents for tax.
“So, all these ones of TIN and no pay and no TIN and no pay, to the total of 6772 will have their accounts frozen or put under substitution pending when they come forward. First, they refused to come forward in 2016, they refused to come forward under VAT and are still operating here.
“So, we are putting them under notice that it is their civic responsibility to pay tax and to file returns on these accounts.”
Fowler explained that FIRS had done a thorough analysis of all businesses, partnerships, corporate accounts that have a minimum turnover of N1 billion per annum for the past three years.
“First of all, the law states clearly that before you open a corporate account, part of the opening documentation is the tax I.D. From the 23 banks, we have analysed so far, we have 31,395 records, out of which effectively minus duplications we had 18,602,” he said.
“We broke those into three categories: Those that have TIN tax I.D, those that don’t have no TIN and of course no TIN no pay and those that have TIN and have not even paid anything.
“So, on a minimum, every company or business included here over the last three years have had a banking turnover of N3 billion and above. Some of them have had banking turnover of over N5 billion and have not paid one kobo in taxes. Now the total number of TIN and no pay is 6772.
“So, if someone is good in mathematics and you take the minimum level of N3 billion multiply by 409 and they are operating within our society and economy and do not remit or make any tax”” payment.”