Owerri –The Federal Inland Revenue Services has recorded a shortfall of N140 billion in revenue collection in the first quarter of the year.
The Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS, Kabir Mashi, disclosed this at the operational management meeting of its Eastern Region in Owerri.
Mashi said the drop in revenue was recorded in the non-oil tax.
He said the service realised a total non-oil tax of N418 billion between January and March as against the target of N558 billion.
According to him, the non-oil collection dropped from N155 billion in January to N133 billion in February and further down to N130 billion in March.
“These results are not impressive and we must do everything possible to ensure that we reverse this negative collection trend,” he said.
Mashi said the current focus of the Federal Government was to raise non-oil revenue to the level of making up for any shortfall from oil revenue.
He said the service also needed to justify the support it had been getting from the government.
He urged the staff to focus on deliberations on service delivery and maximising the tax revenue potential in their areas of operation.
He explained that the programme was based on eight key initiatives which included auditing, arrears and debt enforcement, tax exemption, evasion of rental taxes and taxing high net worth transactions.
Others were registration, filing and utilising communications as a means of enhancing compliance.
Marshi said the service had conducted a nationwide value added tax and withholding tax audits and that the results had started coming in.
“We will be proactive in reviewing returns as they come in and following up to ensure that taxpayers pay up their assessments within the time allowed in our laws.
"Thereafter, we will follow up the audit returns without allowing a backlog to pile up,” he said.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.