The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has given companies with a lien on their bank accounts a 30-day ultimatum to regularise their tax status and pay the tax due.

In what appears to be in line with the decision of FIRS to publish a list of over 19,000 corporate tax defaulters with the names of their bankers, the tax regulator stated that in the event of non-compliance within the stipulated period, it would recover the tax liabilities from directors, managers, secretaries and other management staff of such companies.

Prior to this development, in March 2019, the FIRS issued a warning to taxpayers on the impending lien to be imposed on their bank accounts for non-compliance with provisions of the enabling tax legislation on value-added tax and withholding tax.

Nairamatrics understands that the warning given in March 2019 was as a result of an earlier notice from the FIRS, mandating banks to place a lien on the accounts of tax defaulters.

Recall that the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Fowler said the Commission wrote to all commercial banks in the country as at May 2018, requesting for a list of companies, partnerships, and enterprises with a banking turnover of N1 billion and above.

This activity, according to Fowler, is aimed at discovering those companies that are complying with the tax laws and those that are not complying. So far, the non-compliant organisations have paid about N12.66 billion.

FIRS had vowed to sell the properties of tax evaders in the country. While announcing the government’s decision, Fowler said the government was not only willing to sell properties built and developed in corporate names across the country on which taxes were not being paid but would freeze thousands of bank accounts.

Why this matters: The FIRS is committed to recovering unpaid taxes from defaulters in order to boost government’s revenues. It of common knowledge that paid taxes contribute significantly to government’s revenues. These taxes leverage the government’s plan to foster social infrastructure to the benefit of the masses.