More than 2,000 tax defaulting firms have applied to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to be considered for tax reprieve.

 

The number, which cuts across local businesses, multinational firms, also include oil firms operating in the country that defaulted with their   Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT).

 

A top FIRS official confirmed at the weekend that the response to the waiver as encouraging, but was not specific regarding the amount recovered since last year when tax amnesty offer was announced.

 

Last year, FIRS announced it was   granting a waiver of penalty and interest on tax liabilities to all firms for the period between 2013 and 2015.

 

Its Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, in a public notice, said the waiver only relates to accumulated penalty and interest but not principal tax due.

 

Fowler said a 45-day window has been opened by the Service to enable affected firms to declare their indebtedness and present a payment plan on the outstanding principal tax liability, only acceptable to the Federal Board of Inland Revenue.

 

The paid notice read: “The FIRS in exercise of its powers under section 85 (3) of the companies income tax act CAP C21 LFN 2007 (as amended) (and replicated in section 32 (3) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Establishment Act (FIRSEA 2007) hereby invites all principal officers, especially chairmen, managing directors, chief executive officers, executive and non-executive directors, chief financial officers and all company owners or their representatives, to take advantage of a special window to avoid payment of penalty and interest on tax due between 2013-2015.

 

“That FIRS, by this public notice, will grant a pardon stretching back to three years (2013-2015) to all tax payers in default provided that such defaulting tax payers; come forward to declare their indebtedness within the 45-day window and present a payment plan on the outstanding principal tax liability acceptable to Federal Board of Inland Revenue.”

 

It was however, learnt that operating oil firms who have PTT as overhang seized the FIRS offer and applied for tax amnesty.   A document sighted by this medium over the weekend showed that, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NNPC), a subsidiary of NNPC, and other oil firms operating in the country took advantage of the program and wrote to FIRS requesting to be included and their requests have been subsequently granted by revenue agency.

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