FIRS digitization plans will limit tax evasion and revenue loss


The ambitious approach of Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS) to embrace digitization of tax processes continued to gain momentum after the Nigerian government reiterated its commitment to a digital economy.

Digitized tax administration refers to the use of advanced platforms to enable real-time or near real-time collection and analysis of detailed taxpayer data.

Experts say a digitized tax administration process will block revenue leakage and revolutionize revenue generation for Nigeria.

It will also put an end to illicit financial outflows from the country and enforce tax compliance among multinational corporations operating in the country.

TechEconomy has estimated that Nigeria would have lost around $178 billion (about 5.4 trillion naira) to tax evasion by multinational corporations in ten years.

“Nigeria’s economy is rapidly digitizing and the digitization of the Nigerian economy means that the ways and means of organizing and doing business have changed,” Professor Yemi Osinbajo said Thursday.

Professor Yemi who was represented by FIRS Executive Chairman Muhammad Nami at the recent Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) 24th Annual Tax Conferencesaid the government will continue to invest heavily in automating tax administrative processes and digital infrastructure.

Professor Osinbajo noted that the theme of the tax conference, “Global Disruption, Taxation, and Digitalization: Implication for Socio-Economic Development” captures well the prevailing realities in the context of national and global digitalization.

“Indeed, the sweeping changes brought about by digitalization have displaced the traditional approach to tax administration. Therefore, the digitization of tax administration is unavoidable.

“He revealed that the government has provided an enabling environment for a digitized tax administration by making the necessary changes to tax policy.

In addition, he said, the government is also developing rules for taxing the digital economy, enacting the required legislation and providing the necessary policy support to the team negotiating the new international tax rules for the digital economy. .

However, the vice president urged the institute to consider its role in society as a pillar for the socio-economic development of the country.

“The potential impact of taxpayer non-compliance— for whom you hold memoirs — on the revenue of government and society as a whole is crucial and should be the top priority when you hold memoirs for them.

“In doing so, you should always bear in mind the decision of the Court of Appeals in Phoenix Motors v. National Provident Fund Management Board (1993) that it is in the best interests of society as a whole that the government either in receipts.”

It is through this prism that I see your Institute as a pillar for the socio-economic development of Nigeria and the empowerment of the oppressed in our society.

Undoubtedly, your members will continue to discharge the solemn and sacred responsibility to ensure that the interest of Nigerian society as a whole is not trampled upon; and this you must do with patriotic zeal,” he noted.


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