FIRS will not introduce additional taxes – Adedeji

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The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue, Zacch Adedeji, has restated the agency’s commitment not to introduce additional taxes in the country.

Adedeji stated this on Wednesday, when the Chief Executive Officer of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Adebayo Alli, led the management team of the company on a visit to the Revenue House in Abuja.

The FIRS boss, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the FIRS chairman,  Dare Adekanmbi, was quoted as saying, “The President gave a directive that he wants a single digit tax in the country, meaning that the maximum number of taxes we will have after the work of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms will be nine taxes.

“For us at FIRS, we have responded to that directive. We want to grow the pie such that even if we are taking the same percentage of the bigger pie, the result will be huge.

“By God’s grace, we will not introduce additional taxes nor increase any form of tax. We are only determined to increase the pie. We have restructured our operations at FIRS in such a way that we are now effectively carrying out our duty of assessing, collecting and accounting for taxes. We used to have functional types of taxes, but we have identified that the only customers we have are the taxpayers.”

He noted that FIRS had improved the way it relates with customers by rearranging “our operations based on our customers, using their turnover as the basis to categorise them into large, medium and small”.

He added that President Bola Tinubu, through the consumer credit scheme recently introduced, aimed at increasing the purchasing power of Nigerians to boost the productive capacity of companies and stimulate growth.

“In a couple of days, the consumer credit scheme will be launched and what that will do is really set the right fundamentals, especially for the kind of products you sell.

“In an economy of our size, it will be extremely difficult if we don’t have a consumer credit scheme. People need to eat before they drink. But when they have credit to buy things, this gives them more money that they can use to come to drink and relax after work.

“More so, the President has also directed the commencement of a single window platform for your logistics at the ports. So, instead of having to pay in many places, you can now do that through the platform, most especially for companies like yours. You know your products before they come into the country, so you pay before they arrive, as the issue of port congestion that delays the time you get your raw materials has been taken care of now,” the FIRS boss said.

Earlier, the Guinness CEO pledged that the company would continue to do business in the country, notwithstanding the macro-economic challenges being faced.

“We have come to know FIRS more and tell you a little bit about who we are as a large taxpayer so you can understand our world and the value we add to Nigeria, despite the macroeconomic situation facing us,” he stated.

He assured the FIRS chairman that Guinness would continue to invest in the country, just as he sought assurances from the tax authority in terms of the role it would play “in getting the economy back on the right path from the recovery point of view”.

Foreign exchange expenses eroded the operating profit of Guinness Nigeria in 2023, resulting in a N5.23bn loss.

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