FIRS records 10.4% increase in Q1 2020

Elizabeth Christopher, Abuja

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In spite of turbulence in the global economic system, especially the sharp fall in the price of Nigeria’s major export and top earner – crude oil – the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has recorded a 10.4% increase in its collection target for the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020) compared to the same period in the last fiscal year, that is Q1 2019.

A comparative analysis of the two periods show that the FIRS collected N1,115,491,053,374.68 in the first quarter of 2020 to Q1 2019 when the Service collected N1,046,889,787,060,27.

A massive 568% increase in Capital Gains Tax from N96,408,740.90 in Q1 2019 to N643,935,849.06 in Q1 2020 gave the Service’s revenue its biggest lift, no doubt as a direct result of blockage of leaks in the revenue flow by the wide-ranging reforms launched at the FIRS by its newly appointed Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami, immediately he assumed office in December 2019.

Similarly, the Service recorded a 522% increase in collection from the NITDEF to bag N691,206,855.85 in Q1 2020, compared to N111,037,797.16 in Q1 2019
Since taking the mantle of leadership at the FIRS, Nami has instituted a regime of policy reforms anchored on deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to block tax leaks and motivated members of staff at the FIRS by restoring a number of their statutory roles hitherto outsourced to private consultants back to the staff.

Also in the period under review, Gas Income Tax increased by 286% in Q1 2020, which amounted to N11,491,627,575.89 compared to N2,977,345,332.31 raked in in Q1 2020.

Similarly, Company Income Tax (CIT) collected in Q1 2020 jumped 135% to N95,733,194,644.91 from the corresponding figure of N40,696,980,658.52 recorded in Q1 2019.

Stamp Duty collection in Q1 2020 is N4,750,893,578.48, a 40% increase to the Q1 2019 figure of N3,386,648,663.85
In the education sector, the FIRS recorded an 82% increase in its collection of Education Tax, N13,123,624,697.40 in Q1 2020 compared to N7,229,644,397.68 in Q1 2019.

Both NCS and Non-Import VAT also increased by 12.4% in Q1 2020 N63,296,684,819.79 and N266,264,753,625.13 respectively from the Q1 2019 figures of N57,008,866,617.53 and N236,030,481,054.83 in that order.

However, Petroleum Income Tax, Withholding Tax and Personal Income Tax all took a deep in the period under review, a development tax analysts attributed to fluctuations in the price of crude oil in the international market as well as the interregnum witnessed between passing the 2019 Finance Act into law and its coming to effect on February 1, 2020.

Moving forward and as on-going reforms and deployment of more ICT platforms at the FIRS take root in Q2 2020, the Service expects a brighter outlook in revenue collections.

Suzan  O