In the list of things that are fairly obvious but you would have never think to predict, is Davido’s music label DMW world arraigned in a public list alongside Hubmart Stores and The Assemblies of God Church in Nigeria. They were all part of a comprehensive list the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) published about its tax defaulters, companies whose corporate bank accounts didn’t match the amount of tax revenue, they had remitted to the service. The total number of businesses who were publicly warned in this way came to an unsurprising 19,901 accounts.
This is unsurprising because the Federal Inland Revenue Service has stated it has had problems ensuring that all citizens pay their taxes. Many of the businesses in the country are small or medium scale and are operating businesses too small to be properly taxed. Besides VAT taxes and a tax on fuel ensures that the government gets a hefty chunk of money from all citizens. But regularizing business taxes is a little more difficult. With businesses having to provide all of their basic amenities like electricity, water, good transportation means many businesses don’t see the point of paying taxes anyways.
The FIRS was especially pressured to take this line of action after receiving a letter from Abba Kyari, the Secretary General of the Federation that asked the firm to balance its books and provide evidence for projected revenues.
Will come to the actual contents of the letter later but are things so bad that Fowler is delivering such a poorly written letter as this? How can you type N14,527 trillion? What a mess pic.twitter.com/Ua4GNXZwRm
— tyro (@DoubleEph) August 19, 2019
While we are not sure if this response is reactionary or has been in the works for a while, and we aren’t sure how this will play out. But it is interesting to see the FIRS get serious about regularizing tax for businesses and changing how the government is funded.
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.