….Frown At Tax Evaction For 3 Years
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has expressed concern over the alleged nonpayment of tax by an American company, Procter and Gamble (P&G) operating in Nigeria between 2016 and 2018 financial years respectively.
The chairman of the committee, Hon. Busayo Oluwole Oke announced the committee resolution to summoning of the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr Muhammad Mami
The FIRS Boss was to come and explain the rationale behind the issuance tax clearance certificates to the firm without the payment of revenue due to the Federal Government.
The Committee was investigating revenue remittances of the company based on a query raised by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation over dwindling revenue to the Federal Government.
Members of Committee queried how the company was able to get the tax clearance certificates without any payment to the Federal Government through the FIRS
A member of the Committee, Rep. Zakaria Nyampa (PDP-Adamawa) then moved a motion that the Chairman of the FIRS should be summoned on the development following the failure of the Financial Director of P&G, Mrs Ogunbodele Emiola to give satisfactory answers to questions put to her .
Moving the motion, Nyampa said in the years under review, the turnover of P&G was N42 billion, N41 billion and N48 billion respectively, while their profit was nil and said that there was need for FIRS to come and authenticate the clearance certificates in the possession of P&G and explain reasons for the issuance.
According to him, “Chairman, permit me to take this as a motion, some of this year under review, 2017, 2016, 2018 where their turnover was N42 billion, N41 billion and N48 billion and their profit were nil.
“And FIRS went ahead to give them tax clearance, I want to move a motion that we invite FIRS to authenticate these certificates.
“And what are their financial returns, the things they find that FIRS was convinced that these people should not pay tax for those years under review, I so move Mr Chairman,” he said.
Seconding the motion, Rep. Solomon Karen (PDP-Plateau) said he was deeply concerned about the issue, stressing the need for an in-depth investigation.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Wole Oke in his ruling, directed the Clerk to ensure compliance.
Hon. Oke explained that issuance of tax clearance certificate does not always depend of payment of taxes.
According to him, “Tax payer could be issued tax clearance certificates on several bases; it could also be tentative tax clearance certificate may be there is a business to pursue and they need tax clearance urgently to do so, they can be obliged
“But once the financial year has come to an end, all the filing ought to be done. My worry is that, even though we have other options of assessing tax payer even when your operation resulted in a loss, we have other options. We can look at turnover basis, we can look at net current assets and all that. I am shocked that those options were not applied and yet your tax assessment read zero
“Those are the issues, we cannot shave FIRS in their absence, they need to come here and tell us their own side of the story why we have this kind of situation,” he said.
Hon. Oke said that there was need to look into the import duty documents of P&G as the company imported equipment worth N6.4 billion in 2017
“On your taxes, we will call FIRS to come and defend their decision to give you zero tax assessment which means you did not pay education tax neither did you pay company income tax,” he said.