Substitution Policy: FIRS set to recover N750bn from 55,000 tax defaulters

The Substitution policy of the Federal Inland Revenue Service is set to yield fruits in tracking tax defaulters.

Babatunde Fowler, executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), says the service plans to recover N750 billion from 55,000 defaulting taxpayers by extending its account substitution policy.

Fowler was speaking in Abuja during a meeting with the joint house committees on finance; appropriations; and aids, loans and debt on the 2019/2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

According to him, a bank account substitution exercise has already pulled 500 defaulters into the tax net, leading to a recovery of N23.25 billion.

He said the same exercise will be extended till June to get 55,000 tax defaulters with a turnover of N100 million and above into the tax net.

“From the Bank accounts substitution exercise, we used banking information to bring non-compliant taxpayers with N1 billion and above turnover to comply. It has so far resulted in the recovery of N23.35 billion,” Fowler said.

“The exercise has been extended to cover those with a turnover of N100 million and above. To date, about 500 of them have come forward and they have paid and we have collected in the region of about N24 billion. 

“We believe we should be able to go through the 55,000 before the middle of this year which will be the middle of this year, June 30th. In terms of estimates, which we should be able to generate from this exercise alone, that will be about N750 billion.”

The “substitution” empowers FIRS to appoint the banks as collection agents for tax, and all tax defaulters will have their accounts frozen or put under substitution pending when they come forward.