“It was a matter of concern that those who earned money directly from Government, which is both traceable and verifiable, still failed to pay the correct taxes thereon.”
This is the mood in which the minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun spoke today, Wednesday as her ministry and the office of accountant general of the federation get set to probe some government contractors over false declaration of their income,
Information reaching us showed that a sampling exercise conducted by the Ministry of Finance, found that less than 20% of contractors reviewed accurately stated the income received from the Federal Government in their tax returns, whilst many made no declaration at all.
The result of the sampling showed that some Tax Clearance certificates which were presented at the point of contract award were found to have little bearing on the true value of business conducted by the contractors.
A statement from the ministry of finance said that, in conjunction with Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, it is now compiling detailed records of all payments exceeding N100 million made in the last seven years, including details of the beneficiary bank accounts and other details.
The ministry therefore gives all the agencies 30 days to return the information on payments made, and that accounting officers should certify the accuracy of the data supplied.
“Deliberate omission or manipulation of data by accounting officers will attract sanction.
“The initiative is part of the construction of a central data base of financial information being developed for use in tax compliance. The database project dubbed ‘Project Light House’ is aimed at building comprehensive profiles of tax payers using a wide range of available data sources, including BVN, foreign exchange allocations, land registry records, and information obtained from foreign governments. The data will be used to cross check information provided to the tax authorities.” [myad]