The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has continued to seal business premises of defaulting tax payers in continuation of its compliance enforcement drive. The tax agency recently sealed business premises of tax payers in Lagos, Ibadan and Port-Harcourt for failure to settle outstanding tax liabilities, covering periods as recent as 2015.
It is not surprising to see FIRS employ such hard measure at enforcing tax collection considering the urgent need to fill the void created by the depleted oil revenues. It would be recalled that FIRS recently created a window for voluntary settlement of outstanding tax liabilities through a 45-day tax amnesty programme by waiving penalties and interest. The forbearance cover three years, 2013 to 2015.
In order to take advantage of the current opportunity and forestall the painful and brand-damaging impact of negative publicity associated with enforcement measures, taxpayers are encouraged to take the following steps:
- Evaluate tax position and possible indebtedness to FIRS. Professional guidance and assistance of a tax advisor may be helpful in assessing company’s tax health status
- Settle all outstanding tax liabilities (including undisputed portions of an ongoing audit or investigation) where these have been agreed with FIRS
- Draw up a payment plan and seek FIRS’ approval of same
- Ensure settlement of liabilities in line with approved payment plan