Reps approves October as new take-off date for FCT Inland Revenue Board


The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved October 2016 as the new take-off date for the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCTIRS).

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Similarly, the House approved the immediate nullification of the appointment of the 14-member Board of FCT Internal Revenue Service.

The resolution was passed following the adoption of the report of the House Committee on FCT chaired by Herman Hembe (APC-Benue) on the breach of the FCTIRS Act, 2015.

The Committee had summoned the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello over the unilateral concessional agreement with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to collect taxes without recourse to the House.

According to the report, “all appointments and engagements by previous Board and/or the Chairman of the Board stand nullified, as his appointment was never ratified by the National Assembly.”

The FCTIRS was established in 2015 following the passage of the bill and assent of President Goodluck Jonathan.

While the Committee kicked against the January 2017 take-off date initiated by the FCT Minister, the Committee urged that “the stop-gap collaboration between the FCT administration and FIRS for collection of taxes continues, but the timelines submitted by the Honourable Minister be revised, such that FCTIRS cam take-off in October, 2016 and that FCTA reports progress to the Committee of set targets.”

In order to meet the set objective, the lawmakers emphasised the need for FCTIRS to “ensure full deployment of platforms and technology to ensure adequate coverage of all areas of revenue without further delay.”

The House also tasked the Service to ensure that the process for selection of consultants should be open and competitive in compliance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

Section 8 of the Act empowers the FCT IRS to assess all persons chargeable with tax in the FCT. This power has historically been vested in the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) by virtue of section 2(1b) of the Personal Income Tax Act, LFN 2004 as amended and the FIRS (Establishment) Act 2007.

The First Schedule of the Act, the FCTIRS was empowered to administer Personal Income Tax Act, Capital Gains Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act, Federal Capital Property Tax Regulations and all enactments or laws imposing taxes and levies within the FCT.

Section 8(1g) also empowers the FCT IRS Board to issue a taxpayer identification number to every person taxable in the FCT. This is an area where some careful thoughts will be needed to plug into the existing framework of the FIRS and Joint Tax Board but without etting entangled in the web of dysfunctional IT architecture.

Other key provisions of the law include the establishment of a body of appeal commissioners called the Tax Appeal Committee (TAC) to hear dispute between taxpayers and the FCT IRS. Interestingly section 50(3) requires any person aggrieved by the decision of the TAC to appeal to the FCT Minister.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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