Panel seeks merger of Customs, FIRS

To sustain accountability and improve revenue generation, the  National Tax Policy Review Committee has advised the Federal Government to merge the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
  Presenting draft of the policy at the Committee’s second stakeholders engagement in Abuja on Tuesday, West Africa Tax Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, explained that the committee agreed that the current system promoted multitaxation, tax evasion and wastage.
 He said:: “Part of our recommendation will be that FIRS and Customs should be merged; but not just them, but all revenue generating agencies at the federal level should be merged into one.”
Oyedele explained that what exists now is not effective, adding that it duplicates the collection mechanism. “All the structures you have in FIRS is replicated in Customs, so cost of collection goes up. It also makes it easier for tax evaders to manipulate the system. You can provide information for customs and FIRS is not aware of it”.
  He said having one revenue agency “will flag all the information about a tax payer when he or she is paying tax. It will also ensure that leakages in the system are reduced. This is why we are recommending merger as part of the policy.”