The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Lagos State Government will collaborate to tackle non-payment of taxes by individuals and companies.
This was the outcome of the courtesy visit by the Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami and his team to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday at Lagos House, Ikeja.
Speaking during the visit, Nami lamented that some multinational companies in the country had since 2011 refused to declare their profit and debt taxes.
He called on the Lagos State Government to collaborate with FIRS to contain this irregularity, as many of such were located in the state.
The chairman also sought the cooperation of Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) to meet up with the N8.5 trillion revenue target by President Muhammadu Buhari to fund the country’s 2020 budget.
According to him, it is time to map out strategies on how to raise Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by the present administration for national growth and development.
”Some of the multinational companies in Nigeria, as far back as 2011 was the last time they declared their profit and debt taxes in Nigeria.
”We are of the view that with you being their host and our internal revenue offices on ground, we should be able to map out strategy on how to tackle these issues.
”These are companies that most of their products are consumed daily in our houses but they will come here, do business, go back to their country and leave us with huge responsibility of providing security for their businesses and infrastructure,” he said.
Responding, Gov. Sanwo-Olu pledged continued collaboration with the FIRS to move the tax administration forward in the country.
He said that his administration would always improve on the Ease of Doing Business in the state, rather than stifle the economy with loaded taxes.
The governor said that his administration would embrace and support the activities of start-ups who were scared of the tax burden associated with businesses.
He also urged Nigerians to pay their taxes regularly in order for the government to attain a balanced development at all levels.
The governor promised that Lagos State Government would continue with the existing relationship and further collaborate with FIRS in sharing information to aid revenue collection and ensure deliverables were met.
Sanwo-Olu lauded the Federal Government for considering the start-up businesses in the exemption threshold on taxation.
”We will make sure that there is ease of doing businesses, especially start-ups, that are always scared that they have multiple taxation. There is nothing like multiple taxation in Lagos.
”It is clear that they are exempted but that doesn’t stop them from doing proper filing and ensure transparent reporting at whichever level of their business.
”We will also use this opportunity to encourage our citizens that it is only when they play their own part as responsible citizens both at the corporate and individual levels that the government can come up and discharge its responsibilities.
”Development is by tax and it is only when we collect reasonably amount of tax that we can introduce development both at infrastructure level and more importantly on security, so we cannot but ensure that we collaborate and cooperate with you,” he said.