By Racheal Ishaya
The Federal Government has begun investigation into over 200 whistleblowing recommendations on corrupt practices by tax officers and tax payers.
Mr Oluyinka Akintunde, the Special Adviser, Media and Communications to the Minister of Finance stated in an announcement on Sunday in Abuja that the circumstances have been in reference to connivance to cheat the federal authorities.
According to Akintunde, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, disclosed the investigation when she presided over the assembly of the Whistleblower Unit within the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).
Adeosun stated the ministry had additionally commenced the method of sanitising the tax administration and income assortment system of dishonest operatives.
She stated that the sanitisation of the tax administration and income assortment system was a part of the federal government’s efforts at enhancing the willingness of residents to pay their taxes.
She stated that the Federal Ministry of Finance had requested and secured the suspension of two senior Tax Officials in Delta and Benue States primarily based on verified suggestions from Whistle-blowers.
“The Ministry is presently analysing over 200 further whistleblowing suggestions together with recordings between tax officers and potential taxpayers wherein numerous practices, designed to cut back tax payable, have been detailed.
“These practices include demands for personal gratification by tax officers, promises to procure backdated tax clearance certificates, and offers to conspire to reduce taxes payable,” she stated.
In order to take care of the inflow of the whistleblowing suggestions, Adeosun has directed the reorganisation of the Whistle-blower Unit to quick observe stories referring to these within the income producing businesses.
“Encouraging our residents to pay taxes is a matter of regulation however it’s also a matter of belief. Those who work in our tax workplaces should subsequently exhibit the best degree of integrity.
“The Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari understands that to cut back our reliance on oil means each citizen should pay their taxes as and when due.
“However, people will not be encouraged to pay if they believe that those involved in the assessment are not transparent or are dishonest. We will continue to sanitise the system and also improve our controls,” she stated.
Adeosun stated that the ministry would proceed to route fraudsters from compromising the integrity of the tax administration and income assortment system.
She lauded members of the general public for volunteering invaluable data together with voice recordings and different proof to the Whistleblower Unit within the Ministry.
The Minister additional enjoined members of the general public to desist from the procurement of tax certificates that weren’t constant their true revenue.
She warned in opposition to counting on such paperwork and subsequently suggested those that may need procured such tax certificates prior to now to make the most of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) to regularise their tax profile.
“We have circumstances of procurement of tax clearance certificates with no corresponding information or assessments within the tax workplaces.
“In such circumstances, though funds have been made however there are not any underlying evaluation. So routinely, we’ll flag such firms for investigation.
“The data analysis being undertaken within the Federal Ministry of Finance is readily exposing those who have obtained tax clearance certificates that are either forged or are not consistent with their true income levels,” she stated.