The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, said on Tuesday that it had collected N1.782 trillion as tax between January and July 2017. The service which said the performance of Nigeria’s 2017 budget would be driven by Value Added Tax, VAT added that the service now has a new VAT projection which is a N1.8 trillion target for this year, from the current annual N828 billion target, representing 125 percent increase.
The Chairman of the FIRS, Tunde Fowler made the disclosure during the presentation of his service’s budget before the Senate Committee on Finance on Monday.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act imposes duty on the FIRS to submit its annual budget to the National Assembly for approval – though the service brought the budget after the passage of the country’s Appropriations Act, like it did last year, against the provision of the law.
Mr. Fowler told the Senate Committee, chaired by John Enoh, APC-Cross River, that the FIRS budget had its focus on the capacity to increase VAT and other non-oil revenues.
“The service, in realisation of this responsibility and challenges of doing manual collection, has automated VAT collection for the critical sectors of the economy, notably telecommunications, airlines and financial institutions,” said Mr. Fowler.
He disclosed that the automated collection platforms came with no cost to the government; rather, consultants engaged would only be rewarded on incremental revenue generated.
He said the tax collected in the first half of the year (N1.782 billion) represents an increase in tax revenue of N224.14 billion when compared to the N1.558 trillion collected in the same period in 2016.
He said the agency had also set tax revenue targets for 2017 based on the Federal Government’s 2016-2018 Medium Term Revenue Framework amounting to N4.89 trillion.
The projected cost of collection of revenue by the FIRS is N153.44 billion, higher than N143.90 billion that was approved in 2016.