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Tax Evasion: FIRS Moves To Clampdown On 320, 000 Companies

FIRSThe Federal Inland Revenue Service has wounded up plans to clampdown on about 320, 000 companies and individuals defaulting in the payment of taxes in the country.

As part of measures to carry out its operation, the FIRS said it would begin to deny access to banking facilities for individuals and companies that fail to join its register.

Mr. Sunday Ogungbesan, Chairman, FIRS, said at a forum in Lagos on Friday that there were more than 440,000 companies in the country but only about 120,000 were paying taxes.
This means that about 320, 000 companies are yet to be paying taxes to the agency.
Ogungbesan said it was difficult to track the financial activities of those who did not pay taxes, most of whom said their firms were not active.

“We are collaborating with the central bank to enforce compulsory registration with the tax authority by companies and individuals before they can access their bank accounts,” he said.
The tax identification numbers were introduced for corporate bank accounts in 2012 but some firms whose accounts pre-date the system are currently not obliged to have one.

The FIRS boss stressed the need to review the country’s tax laws, adding that they were not stringent enough to deter evaders.
Tax evasion can be punished with up to five years in prison.

By Patrick Aigbokhan

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