FIRS suffers N4.8tn 10-year revenue shortfall


Within a 10-year period covering 2010 and 2019, the Federal Inland Revenue Service recorded a revenue shortfall of N4.88tn, figures obtained from the FIRS have indicated.
The FIRS data showed that during the 10-year period, the service generated about N43.41tn revenue from taxes.
When compared to the N48.29tn targeted revenue set by the Federal Government for the period, this represents a shortfall of N4.88tn.
A breakdown of the tax performance showed that the sum of N2.84tn was generated in 2010 against the target of N2.55tn. This exceeded the targeted revenue by N290bn during the period.
For the 2011 fiscal period, the sum of N4.62tn was generated as against the collection target of N3.63bn, resulting in a positive variance of N990bn.
In 2012, the actual collection was N5tn as against the revenue target of N3.63tn. This represents a positive variance of N1.37tn.
For 2013 and 2014, the service generated N4.8tn and N4.71tn respectively as against the targeted revenue of N4.46tn and N4.08tn.
The collection for 2013 and 2014 represents an improved performance of N337bn and N629bn over the revenue target for those two years.
However, from 2015, the service failed to meet its revenue target as set by the Federal Government.
For instance, out of the revenue targets of N4.57tn and N4.9tn set in 2015 and 2016, the FIRS was only able to collect N3.74tn and N3.3tn respectively.
These resulted in tax revenue shortfalls of N830bn and N1.6tn respectively.
For the 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal periods, the Federal Government’s revenue targets were N4.89tn, N6.74tn and N8.8tn but the service was only able to achieve N4.04tn, N5.32tn and N5tn respectively.
The Federal Government had in recent times expressed disappointment over the inability of the FIRS to meet its revenue target.
The development had made the Presidency to issue a query to the immediate past Chairman of the FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, asking him to explain the reasons for the shortfall.
In his response, Fowler had blamed the drop in price of crude oil and recession for the shortfall recorded in actual tax collections from 2015 to 2018.
The newly appointed Chairman of the FIRS, Muhammad Nami, in a memo to members of staff, urged them to redouble their efforts by taking advantage of the current staff friendly environment.
He warned against negotiating with taxpayers and diverting tax revenue meant for the government.
He said, “I urge you all to take advantage of the current staff-friendly environment now in place to redouble your efforts to reverse the obvious downward trend and ensure that the current target is not only achieved but also doubled before the end of 2020.
“No doubt the task is daunting but with dogged spirit, integrity, probity and accountability, as well as the resolve not to negotiate with taxpayers and pocket the revenue due to the Federal Government, the current challenges can be surmounted and our ambitious target achieved or surpassed.”

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