The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Friday, 15 February 2019, instructed banks to suspend lien placed on the bank accounts of some taxpayers. In a letter issued to all banks, FIRS noted that the suspension takes immediate effect and would last for a period of 30 days.
FIRS also noted that the suspension was necessitated by the large number of taxpayers who frequently throng FIRS’ offices, in an attempt to regularise their tax status and reconcile their tax records with FIRS. However, the suspension may not be unconnected with the widespread discontentment of various stakeholders on the action of FIRS.
It would be recalled that the FIRS had in 2018, issued letters to banks, appointing them as agents of collection of outstanding taxes from tax defaulters’ accounts. Please click here to access our earlier tax alert in this regard.
While the new directive from FIRS is a welcome development, it is unclear what will happen to taxpayers’ bank accounts at the expiration of the 30 days suspension period. However, we advise all taxpayers to take advantage of this window to review their records and settle any outstanding tax liabilities, to avoid disruption of their business operations.