The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has threatened to deduct tax liabilities from defaulters’ bank accounts.
It said in a statement in Abuja, Wednesday, that the move was being considered, “following rising cases of willful and illegal withholding of taxes collected by companies, corporations, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and other agents of collection.”
The statement by the Director of Communication, Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, indicated that the agency would take steps “to recover taxes due from the defaulters’ asset in the custody of any person, including but not limited to sums standing to its credit with a financial institution in Nigeria”.
According to the FIRS, notices to that effect have been served to all companies, corporate entities, and other agents of collection.
It stated that they were required to pay all outstanding tax liabilities to the FIRS within 30 days from the date of publication of the notice.
It would be recalled that FIRS had previously issued a similar notice to MDAs demanding payment of all outstanding tax liabilities to the Service within 60 days from the date of publication of the notice.
The organization said, “It becomes clear, following these notices, that any MDA, company, corporation and other collecting agents that fails to comply with the directive stands the risk of having all outstanding taxes deducted directly from their bank accounts or statutory allocations, or have their other assets seized by the FIRS and turned over to the Government of the Federation in lieu of the withheld taxes.
According to the FIRS, this move is in line with Section 31 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007 (as amended).
“The Service shall, without further notice, apply the provisions of Section 31 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007 (as amended) to recover taxes due from the defaulters’ asset in the custody of any person (including but not limited to sums standing to its credit with a financial institution in Nigeria).
“In addition, the Service shall take all necessary steps to prosecute defaulters for wilful negligent, tax evasion, unlawful conversion of government property, etc. as the case may be.”