The Senate Public Accounts Committee has queried Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over unremitted N1.4 billion withholding Tax and Value Added Tax, which are deducted from the Ministries. Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The query is contained in a 2015 report by the Auditor-General of the Federation submitted to the committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide to the FIRS.
The committee is probing spendings by federal agencies in the last five years.
The report said N700.2 million Withholding Tax (WHT) which were deducted from 33 government MDAs were not remitted to the FIRS.
This, it said, negated the provision of Financial Regulation 234 (III), which stipulates that officers who fail to remit VAT and WHT due on vat-able supplies and services shall be sanctioned under the applicable VAT Act No. 102 of 1993 which may include fined and/or imprisonment.
“The Executive Chairman has been requested that the unremitted WHT of N700.2 million be deducted at source from budgetary allocations of the affected MDAs in line with section 24 of FIRS Act of 2007 empowering the Accountant-General of the Federation to make such deduction to the service,” it said.
A written response by FIRS, according to the Auditor-General’s report, said the total amount of N700.2 million Withholding Tax was deducted by 33 government MDAs but had not been remitted to the FIRS.”
“Efforts are still made by the service and the Debt Management Office (DMO) to advise the Accountant General of the federation to deduct at the source from budgetary allocations of the affected MDAs in line with the provisions of section 24 of FIRS Act of 2007,” it added.
The report also said N708.5 million of Value Added Tax were deducted from 31 government MDAs but were not remitted to FIRS.
The FIRS, in its written response, said: “Efforts are still made by Service and Debt Management Office (DMO) to deduct at source from budgetary allocations of the affected MDAs in line with the provisions of section 24 of FIRS Act of 2007.”