The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced that it collected over N10 trillion in tax revenue last year, the highest in its history.
The Service made this known in its “FIRS 2022 Performance Update,” report signed by its Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami, and released to the public yesterday, after his briefing with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The FIRS, in 2022 collected a total of N10.1 trillion in oil (N4.09 trillion) and non-oil (N5.96 trillion) revenue as against a target of N10.44 trillion.
Giving reason the Service did not meet its target, Nami pointed fingers at distractions and waivers.
Nami lamented that distractions from some government agencies through instituted court cases, petitions and judgments granted contributed to the Service not meeting its target.
According to Nami, “we received letters from potential taxpayers who wanted to pay us but could not because there were court judgments that transferred the collection of certain revenues to a different body other than the FIRS”.
Nami was however optimistic that the Service will do better in 2023.
In 2022, “Companies Income Tax contributed N2.83 trillion; Value Added Tax N2.51 trillion; Electronic Money Transfer Levy N125.67 billion and Earmarked Taxes N353.69 billion.
“Non-oil taxes contributed 59 per cent of the total collection in the year, while oil tax collection stood at 41 per cent of total collection,” the report noted.
It is the first time that the FIRS will cross the N10 trillion mark in tax revenue collection.
The report further clarified that included in the total revenue is N146.27 billion which is the total value of certificates issued by the Service to private investors and NNPC for road infrastructure under the Road Infrastructure Development Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme created by Executive Order No. 007 of 2019.
The report also stated that the N10.1 trillion is exclusive of tax waived on account of various tax incentives granted under the laws, which amounted to N1,805,040,163,008.
Providing perspective to this unprecedented tax collection, the FIRS noted in the update that the Muhammad Nami-led management upon assumption of office came up with a four-point focus, namely: administrative and operational restructuring; making the service customer-focused; creating a data-centric institution; and automation of administrative and operational processes.
It further noted that from 2020 to 2022, the management introduced reforms on the four-point focuses which were producing results.
“The reforms introduced at different times from 2020 are gradually yielding fruits. By the close of 2022, the Service had fully restructured the administration of the Service for maximum efficiency and achieved internal cohesion such that all functional units are working in unison towards the achievement of set goals.
“As a result of conducive environment created for staff, officers of the Service are pulling their weight on the global stage with international recognitions and awards;
“The Service had also automated most of the administrative and operational processes. A major leap was the full deployment of the TaxPro Max for end-to-end administration of taxes in June 2021. The module for the automated TCC went live 1st January 2023 while taxpayers had already downloaded over 1,000 TCCs this year without having to visit the FIRS office,” the report read.
It also noted that the Service had operationalized its data mining and analysis system thereby allowing for data-backed taxpayer profiling.
Other reforms the Service introduced in this period focused on the detoxification of the tax environment by ridding it of mutual mistrust, negative tax morale, and tax evasion, through effective taxpayer education, open engagement with stakeholders and improved services.
It noted that it is courtesy of these reforms, framed around the four-focus points that the Service was able to achieve this collection.
The Executive Chairman the huge collection was made possible through “dogged implementation of strategic reforms over the past two years; a renewed commitment by officers of the Service, accompanied with a boosted morale; as well as the innovative deployment of technology for automation of both tax administration and operational processes.
“This collection was possible through collaboration with our stakeholders, from our colleagues at the Executive branch of government, to the members of the judiciary, to our brothers and sisters at the National Assembly, as well as the tax advisory committee, professional bodies, unions, and most crucially our taxpayers.”
Speaking on the outlook for 2023, Mr. Nami stated that the Service would build on the current reforms, achieve full automation and continue to establish a resilient Service that would continue to provide sustainable tax revenue to fund the government.
“We intend to maintain, and even improve on the momentum in 2023,” he stated.
“We have peaked, but this is not certainly our peak. In fact, my hope is that this would be the least sum the Service would ever collect going forward.
He added that the goal of the FIRS “is to identify more areas where we can improve on in the delivery and efficiency of our collection; and plug loopholes, while deploying innovative reforms in data and artificial intelligence.
“Ultimately, we believe that the FIRS can shoulder the responsibility of providing revenue needed for the governments across the Federation to cater for the needs of the Nigerian people through taxes.
“This is feasible once we get the much-desired support from the three tiers and arms of government, as well as all stakeholders.”
This is the second consecutive year that the Service will be recording unprecedented tax collection.
In 2021, the Service achieved a record tax collection of N6.405 trillion, being over hundred percent of its collection target for the year, as well as the first time that the Service will cross the six trillion mark.
Last year, building on the success of the preceding year, the Service achieved a record collection of N10.1 trillion, being over 96 per cent of its target for the year, and the first time the Service will cross the N10 trillion mark.
This collection represents an over one hundred percent leap from the tax collected by the Service in 2020-the first year of the current management of the Service.