From the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tunde Fowler came a stern admonition to the nation’s accountants Wednesday, “Don’t go to bed with tax evaders, rather let’s join hands to build a bigger cake for the nation.”
But accountants and lawyers scoffed at Fowler’s admonition, alleging that he was employing strong tactics in getting taxpayers to be tax compliant.
He should abide, in strict terms, with the processes and stipulations of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007, which the FIRS Chairman maintained, is the source of his powers to place lien on the bank accounts of defaulting taxpayers. Fowler should collect taxes by abiding with the Rule of Law, the accountants charged.
It was at the was the 49th Annual Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, where Fowler was the keynote speaker at a panel discussion on FIRS Power of Substitution. Critical Review and Matters Arising. It was chaired by former Executive Chairman, FIRS, Ifueko Omoigui Okauru.
He said, “you play a very important role in this cycle. Without you, the chartered accountants, it will be very difficult to ensure that adequate taxes are being paid. Talking about corruption, corruption is not only when you do something wrong.
“Sometimes, corruption borders on when you do nothing at all. When you review the books that are brought to you, you do your own internal assessment on what your clients should pay, you are truthful, you drop accounts that are not willing to do the right thing.”