FIRS to make Taxpayer Identification Number mandatory for bank customers

FIRS says it is committed to operating a transparent and efficient tax system that optimises tax revenue collection and voluntary compliance.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, said on Wednesday that discussions are ongoing with commercial banks in the country to make the Taxpayer Identification Number, TIN, mandatory for all individuals and corporate customers intending to open new accounts or conduct transactions in the country.

The Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS, Kabir Mashi, said in Abuja at the sensitisation workshop for FIRS Field Officers, Collection Agents and Banks that beginning next September, Value Added Tax, VAT, and Withholding Tax deductions by operators in the country’s aviation sector would be automated.

Mr. Mashi said the pilot scheme of the automation processes is expected to go live in the third quarter of 2013 and would ultimately extend to other sectors and government agencies, such as Telecommunications, Power, and Financial Institutions, including the Nigeria Customs Service, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

Mr. Mashi, who was represented by the Coordinating Director, Direct Report Group (DRG), Onyekachi Ihedioha, said as part of steps by FIRS to increase its tax revenue collection for the government, there are plans to bring all its receipt processes on the automation platform, while increasing the number of payment channels as well as implementation of the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS).

“We have extended invitations to our Collecting Agents for their magnanimity in collecting and remitting taxes on behalf of the Service,” Mr. Mashi said.

“Businesses now know that there is no hiding place for them anymore. Yes, they can run, but they can no longer hide.

“We appreciate the level of cooperation thus far in the implementation of the Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN) system. We have achieved some significant mileage with the introduction of TIN, and we hope the banks will fully adopt the “No TIN No Account” option as we go on.”

According to him, efficient revenue management entails generating the maximum level of revenue without leakages, prompt delivery of quality services to the taxpaying public and high level of transparency and accountability. Mr. Mashi said the automation project is part of the ITAS initiative focused on taxpayers registration using TIN in the filing and registration and returns processes, payment processing.

He said the FIRS has adequate mechanisms for proper analysis and monitoring of these initiatives to enable the agency address attendant challenges as they occur, pointing out that the success or otherwise of some of the initiatives depended on the level of cooperation by the government agencies.

“I am sure you are all aware of the introduction of the Electronic Form M by the Nigeria Customs Service and the Central Bank of Nigeria. We have also keyed into this arrangement in such a manner that transactions involving the use of e-form M cannot be processed without a valid Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN),” he said.

The chairman said that at inception the service focused on efficiency in collection, assessment and accounting, adding that while the primary mandate remained unchanged, a lot has since changed from process re engineering to process automation through its modernisation programme.

He assured participants of FIRS’ commitment to keeping its mission statement to operate a transparent and efficient tax system that optimises tax revenue collection and voluntary compliance.

The sensitisation workshop organised by the FIRS Revenue Accounting Department (RAD) featured presentations by various officials.


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