FIRS beams searchlight on maritime, aviation sectors
—to go after tax evaders
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has concluded a plan to expand its tax net to the maritime and aviation sectors in a bid to capture tax evaders i8nn these sectors.
Towards this end, the tax authority will soon commence a back-end tax audit on operators in the maritime and aviation industries to checkmate tax evasion.
The Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami, who made the disclosure while delivering an address at the Pedabo Thought Leadership event, noted that foreign players in the industries lifting cargo out of Nigeria do so without paying taxes.
In July, FIRS appointed some banks as agents to recover N1.8 trillion from accounts of Messrs MultiChoice Nigeria Limited (MCN) And MultiChoice Africa (MCA) over evasion of Value Added Tax (VAT) payment.
Just last week, a Federal High Court dismissed the appeal of MultiChoice on the case, clearing the way for FIRS to recover the sum while the DSTV and GOTV operator insisted on no wrongdoing.
A statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Johannes Afolabi Wojuola said, “The FIRS will soon launch a tax audit exercise on operators in the maritime and aviation industries.” And the Back-end pre-audit activities will be in collaboration with regulatory authorities which are in an advanced stage.”
The chairman, therefore, urged all foreign companies that have lifted cargo (including crude oil) out of Nigeria without paying tax to voluntarily come forward to regularise their tax positions, adding that those who wait for the audit would not be taken lightly.
“Tax authorities are unable to police these foreign companies because the transportation contracts are executed outside Nigeria and the tax authorities do not have the lifting schedules of the vessels ahead of their arrival in Nigeria,” he stated.
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