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FIRS loosens grip on tax certificate issuance — for 30 days

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is offering taxpayers a 30-day grace to obtain their tax clearance certificate.

In a public notice signed by Muhammad Nami, its executive chairman, the revenue agency said it has put mechanisms in place to make the process of getting the certificate easier for taxpayers.

Nami said the offer to ease issuance of TCC is in accordance with the provisions of section 101 (1) of CITA LFN 2004 and in conformity with Self-Assessment Regulation, 2011.

“Following the numerous complaints received from our esteemed taxpayers with respect to difficulties encountered before obtaining tax clearance certificate (TCC) and the fact that taxpayers need TCC to enable them to, inter alia, seek and obtain contracts and loans, renew permits, registrations, franchises, agreements and/or licenses that will invariably generate revenue from which taxes will be paid, management has looked into the above complaints and has taken steps to ease the process of obtaining TCC,” the notice read.

“Consequently, notice is hereby given that the service has put in place machinery to issue 2020 TCC for all eligible taxpayers from January 2 to January 31, 2020.

“The service may not hesitate to use enforcement activities including the imposition of a lien on bank accounts of such defaulting companies to recover any outstanding debts when it discovers that the taxpayer has misled the service in her duty to observe tax compliance.

“The issuance of TCC to ease the burden of taxpayers is in line with the provisions of Section 101 (1) of CITA LFN 2004 and in conformity with Self-Assessment Regulation, 2011.

“Taxpayers are therefore encouraged to take advantage of this initiative and apply for their 2020 TCC, as soon as possible

He, however, warned that the FIRS will not fail to invoke the provisions of the law, including enforcement and imposition of lien, should it be apparent that a taxpayer has misled the FIRS to issue a TCC.

Before now, taxpayers have to wait for at least two weeks after applying to get the tax certificate provided all outstanding taxes have been paid.

With this grace period, applicants are assured that tax certificates will be issued within the stipulated period.

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