By Ikenna Uwadileke
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it is leveraging on technology to drive increased revenue generation.
Mr Kabir Abba, Coordinating Director, General Tax Operations Group, FIRS, said this at the broadcast of the Service’s stewardship on Tuesday in Abuja.
The event with the theme “FIRS, Impacting the Nigerian Economy”, was organised by Government to Citizens Interface (G2C).
The G2C interface is a medium for government and citizens to interface toward solving national problems.
Abba described the N10.4 trillion generated in 2022 as the highest tax collection ever recorded in the agency’s history.
According to him, FIRS as part of its efforts at modernising tax administration in Nigeria, introduced a tax administration solution, TaxPro-Max, for the ease of tax compliance.
Abba said that the agency achieved over 96 per cent of its collection target for 2022 by leveraging on technology to enhance tax administration.
Giving a breakdown of the N10.1 trillion generated, Abba said that 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 FIRS, in 2022, collected a total of N10.1 trillion in both oil (N4.09 trillion) and non-oil (N5.96 trillion) revenues as against a target of N10.44 trillion.
“From 2020, FIRS collected N4.952 trillion against N5.076 trillion target, in 2021 it was N6.9 trillion while the target was N7.6 trillion and in 2022 we generated N10.1 trillion from a target of N10.44 trillion,’’ he said.
Abba said that the TaxPro-Max enabled seamless registration, filing, payment of taxes and automatic credit of withholding tax as well as other credits to the taxpayer’s account among other features.
“TaxPro-Max also provides a single-view to taxpayers for all transactions with the Service,” he said.
According to him, there is what we are expected to give to the taxpayers and on their part we get feedback.
“And the way it is now, there is hardly anything you can do without coming to the FIRS because you cannot open a bank account if you don’t have a Tax Identification Number (TIN). And FIRS is the only agency that can give you a TIN. There are certain things that are tied to it,” he said.
While urging Nigerians to ensure tax compliance, Abba said that qualified personnel of the Service are on hand to assist taxpayers who are experiencing challenges in filing returns on the TaxPro-Max.
“I want to call on taxpayers that whatever it is that they see, let them be curious to come and ask and even advise us on how to improve.
“There are rights and obligations of taxpayers and the technology we have deployed is helping the process,’’ he said.
He further said that the technology is also helping taxpayers to file their remittances even when they don’t have taxes to pay.
According to him, there is no hiding place for anyone. Everybody must pay his taxes as at when due because the system is so robust now to get people who are not in the tax net.
“We have developed technology to get tax payers that are not in the tax net,’’ Abba said.
Mr Femi Olarinde, Technical Assistant to the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami, said that the technology deployed by FIRS ensures equity and fairness in tax administration.
Olarinde said that the TaxPro-Max solution enables the taxpayer to generate the Document Identity Number (DIN) to enable him to pay his tax seamlessly.
On his part, Mr Bilia Aminu said that the automation process integrated other agencies working with FIRS to ensure stable infrastructure and optimise operation.
“We have done our best to have 247, but you know the environment we are in, there are lots of factors that management has done its best to make sure that infrastructure is stable.
“We had to move to the cloud to make sure we were stabilised. So, with regards to availability, we are doing our best.”
He, however, said that the technology is not without some challenges.
“I got a call from our service provider who said they just had a glitch but they assured me it’s going to take less than 15 minutes to restore it. So this happens everywhere around the world,’’ Aminu said.
Mr Bode Gbore, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters and convener of the event, said that the interface became necessary to appreciate the role of technology in facilitating e-filing and e-payment.
According to him, this can improve taxpayer experience and reduce compliance costs by optimising communication with taxpayers, and by eliminating travel, queuing and error-prone manual input of data and information. (NAN)