TAX EVASION: FIRS begins audit of oil and maritime transport companies


By Emma Ujah, Abuja office manager

The The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is running an upstream tax audit on operators in the maritime and aviation industries, apparently in an attempt to uncover tax-defaulting businesses, especially multinational companies that dominated the industry.

Speaking at Pedabo’s thought leadership breakfast session in Lagos yesterday, Executive Chairman Muhammad Nami said the exercise, carried out in conjunction with industry regulators, was at an early stage. advanced stage.

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Nami called on foreign players in these industries, who had transported cargo out of Nigeria without paying taxes, to come forward voluntarily and regularize their tax situation.

He said, “Please allow me to take this opportunity to invite all foreign companies that have transported cargo (including crude oil) out of Nigeria without paying tax in accordance with applicable law to come forward voluntarily to regularize their tax situation. Those who would wait for the FIRS audit before doing the right thing might find the taste very unpleasant.

The boss of FIRS lamented that the maritime and aeronautical industries do not report the expected revenues to the Treasury.

Blaming the low incomes on many factors, he said that one of the main reasons for the low yield was the failure of foreign companies that transport cargo to pay taxes.

“The poor performance of the tax revenues of the two industries can be attributed to many factors, the main one being the inability of foreign companies carrying cargoes (especially crude oil) to pay taxes.

“This is contrary to the provisions of the tax laws in force. The revenue losses of these non-compliant companies are very significant.

“The tax authorities are not able to control these foreign companies because the transport contracts are executed outside Nigeria and the tax authorities do not have the timetables for lifting vessels before they arrive in Nigeria,” he said. declared.

The boss of FIRS explained that the existence of governments and socio-economic development around the world were defined by taxation; because taxation has gone beyond a simple tool to increase income or a simple civil obligation of citizens.

His words: “The whole world is engulfed in a tax war. In ancient times, nations fought against each other to capture land for their inherent natural resources. Today’s war is about taxes. The inability of the Inclusive Framework to reach consensus on tax issues around the digital economy is clear testimony that tax is the new “resource” that people are going to war over.

“The statement released by the Inclusive Framework after a long negotiation makes it clear that each country must find its way. The lack of consensus is in itself a revelation; especially for developing countries.

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