Business

Online transactions to attract VAT-FIRS

The chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr Babatunde Fowler, has disclosed that online transactions will soon begin to attract Value Added Tax (VAT) payment.

Fowler, made the disclosure in New York, the United States (U.S.) on Saturday, where he said “Soon, we will ask banks to impose VAT on online transactions for purchases of goods and services.

According to him, the move was part of measures by FIRS to meet its N8 trillion revenue target for 2019.

Fowler said the agency had started taking action against companies and businesses that refused to embrace the Federal Government’s tax amnesty programme.

He said FIRS hopes to generate between N750 billion and N1 trillion from the clampdown, which he said, includes closure of defaulters’ bank accounts.

“We are going after everybody. I am sure you have heard that we have placed lien on some accounts of defaulters that have a billion naira turnover annually.

“So certainly, we are not leaving anyone out of the tax net,” Fowler said.

The tax amnesty programme dubbed the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme, came on stream in 2017. It gave tax defaulters a one-year period of grace to declare and settle their unpaid taxes.

There have been complaints by some taxpayers of being wrongly targetted by FIRS in the clampdown.

Fowler admitted the complaints blaming it on “administrative error,” arising from the huge number of accounts involved.

“Well, there is certainly one or two instances where we made administrative error, but when you are looking at over 50,000 accounts, there is a tendency that sometimes, an error might be made.

“For those that we made errors on, I wrote them personally apologising and of course we lifted the lien on their accounts.”

On plans by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) to raise the country’s tax population to 45 million, Fowler said the agency was relying on multiple information sources.

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