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FIRS Chairman assures MTN, others of friendly tax administration

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By Matthew Denis

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Dr Zacch Adedeji has assured Nigeria’s leading telco, Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) Nigeria Plc and others of a tax administration that is friendly, customer-centric and helps businesses to flourish and bear more fruits.

He gave the assurance while receiving the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria Plc, Mr Karl Toriola, who led the management team of the company on a visit to the Revenue House in Abuja, on Tuesday.

In a statement by Dare Adekanmbi, Special Adviser on Media to the FIRS chairman said the resolve to create an environment of growth by removing every obstacle in the way of corporate entities was in line with the directive of President Bola Tinubu.

The FIRS chairman, according to the statement, explained that the ongoing restructuring at the agency leading to the creation of a one-stop shop for taxpayers according to their turnover thresholds was part of measures aimed at easing payment of taxes.

“The way we are structured now is that we have large taxpayers’ groups, medium and small. Those in the large tax group are companies with turnover of N5b and above and I know that is where MTN belongs.

“In the large tax category, you will now be required to pay all your taxes, including Company Income Tax, VAT and others in that one-stop shop where you can also have issues relating to audit sorted.

“Essentially, the issue of multiple letters from various units within FIRS over almost the same matter has been taken off the system with the restructuring that we have done. We are now focused on providing the needed service to our customers,” Adedeji said.

Using a tree-fruit metaphor for illustration, the FIRS chairman said, “Our purpose here, like President Bola Tinubu will always say, is not to kill or hew down the trees, but to water them so that they can bear more fruits.

“The relationship between FIRS and you the taxpayers is symbiotic. Your existence actually determines our own existence. If you discover anything in our policies or operations that you are not conversant with, feel free to reach out to us for clarification. This is how we can co-exist,” he said.

Earlier the CEO of MTN, Toriola pledged the support of the company towards the initiatives of the Federal Government and FIRS in increasing tax revenue.

“We are here just to pay a courtesy visit and to congratulate you on your appointment and confirmation. We are also here to pledge our support as MTN Nigeria Plc towards the initiatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria and also for the organization towards making sure that you increase the tax revenue base of Nigeria.

“I represent an organisation which is probably the largest in corporate Nigeria. We have been recognised over the years by a few awards given to us by FIRS on our compliance and diligence in paying our taxes.

“Unlike many other organisations, we have a physical presence in every single local government in Nigeria, and we impact the lives of almost everyone living in Nigeria.

“Over the years, through various administrations, we have taken pride in always being a partner and ally to the Federal Government and we do so by ensuring that we pay our taxes on time. We will never deliberately avoid taxes.

“We will show every flexibility to support the various initiatives. As MTN Nigeria, we understand the kind of challenges the nation is facing, and we are here to be partners in getting the economy in its right place,” Toriola added

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