Stop contracting consultants to collect FG taxes…. It’s our duty – FIRS
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has cautioned ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs) against the appointment of consultants and concessionaires to collect taxes due to the federal government or its agencies.
FIRS said this in a public notice on Thursday, signed by Muhammad Nami, executive chairman, FIRS.
It accused some MDAs of including tax administration functions in their agreement with consultants, adding that the action contravenes the law.
“It has come to the notice of the Federal Inland Revenue Service that some Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs) are appointing concessionaires or consultants for the assessment, collection, accounting or enforcement of taxes and levies due to the Federal Government or any of its agencies,” it said.
“Some MDAs include such functions in their agreements with concessionaires or consultants.”
The agency said the development contravened section 68(2) of the FIRS Establishment Act (FIRSEA).
“The primary agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria responsible for the administration, assessment, collection, accounting and enforcement of taxes and levies due to the Federal Government or any of its agencies, except as may be authorised by the Minister responsible for Finance by regulation as approved by the National assembly,” it said.
“Section 12(4) of the FIRSEA further provides that it may appoint and employ such consultants, including tax consultants or accountants and agents to transact any business or to do any act required to be transacted or done in the execution of its functions under this act; provided that such consultants shall not carry out duties of assessing and collecting tax or routine responsibilities of tax officials.”
FIRS, therefore, said that based on the provisions of the law, it is clear that its duty includes the “administration, assessment, collection, accounting or enforcement of taxes and levies” due to the federal government”.
“No part of these responsibilities can be contracted to a private enterprise by any other MDA,” FIRS added.
It said the “appointment or authorisation of any person, other than by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, to assess, collect, enforce or account for taxes constitutes an offence under Section 68(3) of the FIRSEA”.
It added that such appointment or authorisation is punishable, upon conviction, with a fine, imprisonment or both under section 68(6) of the Act. (The Cable)