Wednesday, 15 May 2013

FIRS: Banks Remit N77bn Tax in Five Years

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Acting FIRS chairman, Mr. Kabir Mashi
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Monday disclosed that commercial banks in the country remitted N77 billion taxes over the past five year.

Acting chairman of FIRS, Mr. Kabir Mashi, stated this at a meeting with members of the House Committee on Finance to ascertain the level of compliance of the banks with the tax policy.
He explained that the sum of N83 billion was what was expected from the banks during the period under review.
According to Mashi, the FIRS, through its Tax Audit Unit, conducted audit on 23 banks between 2006 and 2012

 and found out what the companies were supposed to remit.
The FIRS has also signed an agreement with the banks on the modalities for remitting the taxes.

Mashi, however, explained that there were some delayed remittances from some banks, which act as tax collecting agents and intermediary for other banks before paying the taxes in what they collected into the vaults of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 The Chairman, House Committee, Hon. Abdulmumini Jibrin, observed that the there were some lacuna in the guidelines for collecting the taxes, there was need to streamline the rules.
Jibrin thereafter summoned the management of the 24 banks involved in tax collection to appear before the committee.
He explained that the invitation was for the committee to rub minds with the banks and explore ways of making their assignment easier.
“The committee is inviting the chief executives of the 24 banks to appear before it on May 20. Let me say this before it ignites any kind of controversy. We are not putting them under any investigation, except proven otherwise. But they are coming here for an interactive session. It is important for me to clarify this, there is nothing sensitive with investigating banks. It’s just an exercise, and it will not have any negative effect on the economy,” Jibrin said.
Meanwhile, the Public Accounts Committee has given the CBN a clean bill of health over allegations that the apex bank used N2.8billion for the refurbishing of its Port Harcourt branch office.
The clearance came after officials of the CBN testified that the sum was used for the construction of a new building beside the existing office and tendered relevant document to substantiate its claims.
Deputy Governor of the CBN in Charge of Corporate Services, Mr Suleiman Barau, who appeared before the Public Accounts Committee Monday tendered the contract papers, building plans and photographs showing the old and the new buildings.
The committee however stepped down deliberations on the query raised on the N844 million property purchased for the National Planning Commission by the CBN and requested for additional evidence on the transactions.
The committee frowned at the sale of the official residence of the Governor of the bank built on an acre of land at a prime location in Abuja at the price of N160 million.
The building was allegedly sold to a private company but the committee said efforts should be made to get the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to file information on the ownership of the company.
Source: ThisDayLive

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