No hiding place for fake tax certificate issuers and holders, FIRS bellows
The war against fraudsters who specialise in producing and selling fake Tax Clearance Certificates (TCC) is getting tougher by the day as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) declared there is no hiding place for them.
The agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria made this strong statement via the launch of a state-of-the-art, user-friendly online portal that detects any TCC not duly issued by the FIRS.
Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, disclosed this at the Revenue House headquarters of the Service in Abuja while receiving the Management of the Federal Capital Territory (FCTA) Land Administration.
Mr. Nami said: “We are not unmindful of the activities of fraudsters who specialise in producing and selling fake TCCs to tax evaders. The FIRS has now gone ahead of them as it has launched an online portal through which Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), body corporate and individuals could confirm the genuineness of TCCs issued to them.
“The moment anyone presents a TCC to transact any business with you, we want you to visit www.tcc.firs.gov.ng. The moment you put the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) of the company, its RC number, and the name of the company in the portal, the actual Tax Clearance Certificate of the company, if it has any, will come up. If the TCC presented to you is fake, you will know. When you come across such cases, you should immediately inform us so that we prosecute such people. The only way we can collaborate as government agencies is to share information”.
The FIRS Executive Chairman urged the FCTA Land Administration authorities and other public and private organisations to henceforth fact-check any TCC presented to them before transacting any business.
Mr Nami also urged the FCTA Land Administration management to make it mandatory for anyone registering any property in Abuja to present a TCC. He said it is by so doing that the revenue profile of the government would increase and be enough to support the developmental needs of the government at all levels.
His words: “You should also insist that before any property is registered, the person or company seeking registration must present a TCC. We also appeal that you should not accept the situation where taxpayers try to under-declare the value of properties. You know what the value of properties is in Abuja. Somebody should not come up to declare that he bought 2,500 square metres of land in Maitama Abuja for the sum of N1 million when you know that the cost of such piece of land in Maitama is far, far higher than that amount. We want you to help us in that regard by disputing values that they may deliberately declare to shortchange the government.
“We want a situation whereby we can collaborate to create a portal where for every land that is registered with you, the details are escalated on the portal so that we will be able to compare the information with the taxpayers’ information in the FIRS. This issue of information exchange for the administration of Capital Gains Tax has become necessary because if you observe the issue of budget funding from April last year, you would discover that Nigeria needs all tax revenues it could generate to support the economy. And tax revenue from FIRS has been contributing 70 per cent of the funds being shared monthly by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) to the three tiers of government.”
Mr. Nami commended the FCTA Land Administration for indicating interest in collaborating with the FIRS. “We want you to continue to help both the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the FCT Internal Revenue Service in ensuring that as assets are disposed of, particularly property and land in Abuja, that at the point of registering the property for acquisition, you can charge appropriate CGT and Stamp Duties and remit to the appropriate tax authorities, whether it is FCT Internal Revenue Service or the Federal Inland Revenue Service. Your cooperation is now critical because some other revenue-generating sectors are not currently doing very well because of the negative impact of COVID-19”, Nami said.
Director of FCTA Land Administration, Adamu Jibrin Hussaini, who led the delegation of the organisation said they were willing to collaborate with the FIRS in areas of their jurisdiction such as a collection of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Stamp Duties for properties in the FCT.
“Thank you for giving us this opportunity despite your tight schedule. We feel we should come to identify and collaborate with you in our area of jurisdiction which includes the collection, on behalf of FIRS, of Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duties”, Hussaini said.