House of Representatives Directs FIRS to Recover Over N5.19 Trillion in Unpaid Taxes

The House of Representatives has issued a directive to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to initiate the recovery of outstanding taxes amounting to over N5.19 trillion owed to the Federal Government by various entities, including ministries, departments, agencies (MDAs), oil companies, and individuals.

The resolution stemmed from a motion presented by Esosa Iyawe, the representative for Oredo Federal Constituency in Edo State, titled “Alleged non-remittance and under-remittance of tax by ministries, departments, and agencies of government, oil companies, and other organizations.”

Iyawe highlighted instances of tax non-compliance, citing the FIRS’s revelation in 2021 of N17.69 billion owed by companies whose whereabouts remained untraceable. Additionally, audit reports from 2015 to 2019 revealed substantial sums owed by government agencies and over 5,000 companies and MDAs, totaling N5.2 trillion in withholding taxes.

The lawmaker underscored the detrimental impact of under-remittance and non-remittance of taxes on the Federal Government’s revenue, emphasizing the urgent need to address the situation to prevent further strain on the country’s economy, already facing challenges.

Furthermore, Iyawe expressed concern over the burden of multiple taxations on small-scale businesses juxtaposed with leniency shown to states, local governments, multinational companies, and other corporate entities.

In response to the motion, the House called on the FIRS to launch a comprehensive tax recovery drive. Additionally, the Committees on Public Accounts and Finance were tasked with investigating tax remittance non-compliance by MDAs, oil companies, and other entities. Their findings are expected to be reported back within four weeks for further legislative action.

 

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