By Racheal Ishaya
Abuja, June 13, 2017 (NAN) The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it generated N778.19 billion revenue in the first quarter of 2017.
This is according to a progress report by the FIRS sent to the Federal Ministry of Finance, and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The report, which showed the revenue performance for the first quarter of 2017, gave a breakdown of money collected.
According to the report, the FIRS collected N338.3 billion as Petroleum Profit Tax between January and March, as against the N176.7 billion collected in the period under review in 2016.
Similarly, Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue increased from N198.7 billion in first quarter of 2016, to N221.37 billion in first quarter of 2017.
The report showed that the biggest improvement was from Education tax collection, which the FIRS surpassed in 2016 by 311.7 per cent.
It said in first quarter of 2017, N33.9 billion was generated as Education tax revenue as against the N8.24 billion generated in the same period of 2016.
Also, the service said it achieved 284.3 per cent improvement in Stamp Duty collections, as it generated N3 billion in first quarter of 2017, as against the N785 million generated in 2016.
The report also showed that consolidated tax revenue for the first quarter of the year grew by 123 per cent, from N11.5 billion in 2016 to N25.7 billion in the same period of 2017.
The service also recorded success in boosting its collection of National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF) levy, which went up from N129 million in 2016 to N179.2 million in 2017.
The report, however, showed that the FIRS did not record any improvement in Company Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax collections.
The service collected N155.6 billion as Company Income Tax in first quarter of 2017, while it collected N166.85 billion in the same period of 2016.
It said N110.9 million was generated from Capital Gains in 2017 as against the N859.1 billion generated in the same period of 2016.
“The analysis shows that we have recorded an increase of N214 billion, representing an overall increase of 38 per cent in 2017, when compared with the collection performance of the corresponding period in 2016.
“We attained this collection performance in spite of several challenges, as we have continued to vigorously pursue our strategies internally, while improving collaboration with relevant stakeholders to boost our collections.
“The strategies put in place are still on course and progressively yielding,’’ the FIRS said.
It will be recalled that the FIRS Chairman, Mr BabaTunde Fowler pledged to improve tax collection by capturing more people and companies under the tax net.
In April, he said that four million individuals have been included in the tax net, bringing the total to about 20 million individuals.
This still leaves a gap of about 40 million taxable individuals and corporate organisations both in the formal and informal sectors.