The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), yesterday, disclosed that it had projected N1.8 trillion Value Added Tax (VAT) collection for the 2017 fiscal year.
Executive Chairman of the agency, Mr. Tunde Fowler, made the projection while presenting his 2017 budget at the Senate Committee on Finance budget defence, where he clarified that the budget focused on capacity to increase VAT and other non-oil revenue.
He pointed out that VAT was expected to grow from an actual of N828 billion to a budget of N1.8 trillion, which is over 125 per cent increase, stressing that the achievement of the 2017 budget would be driven by VAT collection.
His words: “The Service, in realisation of this responsibility and challenges of doing manual collection, has automated VAT collection for the critical sectors of the economy, notably telecommunications, airlines and financial institutions.”
Fowler noted that the deployment of the platforms was at no cost to the Service while the consultants would only be rewarded on incremental revenue generated.
On budget parameter, the FIRS boss said that the 2017 projected cost of collection of N153.44 billion was higher than the 2016 approval estimate, which stood at N143.90 billion.
He said that the figure represented a cost of collection increase of 6.63 per cent on overall projected non-oil revenue, including VAT, stamp duties and levy.
Fowler requested the Senate to approve the surplus budget of N848 billion arising from expected total revenue of N153.4 billion over expenditure of N152.6 billion.
On the revenue projections performance for the period January to June 2017, he said that the analysis showed that the Service had recorded an increase of N224 billion representing an overall increase of 14 per cent in 2017, when compared with the collection performance for the corresponding period in 2016.
“We have therefore achieved 72.93 per cent of our half year target of N2.44 trillion for 2017 as against 74.2 per cent of N2.1 trillion for the corresponding period in 2016,” he said.
He put tax collection between January and June 2017 at N1,782,922,600.000 with variation of N224,140,900,000, giving 14 per cent increase over the same period in 2016.
He said: “The chairman may note that we attained this collection performance despite several challenges, as we have continued to vigorously pursue our strategies internally while improving collaboration with relevant stakeholders to boost our collections.
“The strategies put in place are on course and progressively yielding fruits. We are hopeful therefore that the efforts being made will translate to significant tax yields before the end of 2017.”
Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, John Enoh, stressed the need for the FIRS to work to achieve approved target for this fiscal year and in subsequent years.
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