The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is about to go hard on tax evaders in the country by examining financial information stored in electronic devices of taxable persons in the country.
Beginning from May 1, 2021, the agency said it had been empowered by law to check the computers and electronic storages belonging to taxable individuals through its Automated Tax Administration Solution.
The FIRS, in an advertorial on Wednesday signed by the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, said the new directive was in line with Section 25(4) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Establishment Act 2007 as amended by section 51 of Finance Act 2019.
The agency added that the service would connect at relevant Point of Sales (POS) or invoicing platforms of all taxable individuals and firms.
According to Firs, the firms or individuals are ‘required to grant FIRS access to all computers, electronic devices or cloud computing facilities wherein records, data or information are stored or otherwise residing (Section 26, FIRS Act).’
The agency advised persons of interest to grant it access to such platforms, adding that failure to comply would attract penalties prescribed in Section 26(3) of the FIRS Establishment Act.
The provisions of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Establishment Act 2007 as amended by section 51 of Finance Act 2019 revealed that the finance act referred to is 2020 and not 2019.
However, the provision of section 26 (3) FIRS Act 2007 corroborates the amended section 25 of the Finance Act 2020 that provides the sanction for a defaulter.
“A person who contravenes the provisions of this section is, in respect of each offence, liable on conviction to a fine equivalent to 100 per cent of the amount of the tax liability.”