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Individuals and corporate bodies found guilty of tax evasion are to henceforth lose their properties to the Federal Government, the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has said. This was as he equally disclosed that the tax agency surpassed its target for 2018 by generating a total of N5.32 trillion. Fowler disclosed this on Tuesday at a roundtable between the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Aides and Loans, Finance and Appropriations and relevant ministries and agencies on the 2019–2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Papers (FSP) in Abuja.
While appraising his agency’s performance for the 2018 fiscal calendar, Fowler said the court had, for the first time, granted leave to the service to confiscate properties belonging to tax defaulters and liquidate same with a view to recovering government taxes. “We’ve gotten a court order to start the sale of property of tax defaulters for the first time, and we’re working at commencing that to recover what’s owed to government. “We have shown increased sales in the various tax nets, but we had to slow down, and we’re working on over 55,000 accounts and generating an estimate of about N746 billion. “And, as we continue to use technology to improve the collection process, VAT (Value Added Tax) will continue to improve in remittances and increase revenue flow,” he said. The tax boss also disclosed new innovations being employed to improve tax collection with regards to the deployment of e-services which, he said, were improving ease of compliance by 25 points. “We’re working with the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) on the joint tax board to improve compliance and collection. “Property owners have also been netted and a total of N4.3 billion can be realised in Abuja and Lagos alone,” he said.