A. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
What became the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) was created in 1943, when it was carved out of the erstwhile Inland Revenue Department that covered what then constituted Anglo-phone West Africa (including Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria) during the colonial era. In 1958, the Board of Inland Revenue was established under the Income Tax Ordinance of 1958. After various reform programmes, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as the operational arm of Federal Board of Inland Revenue (FBIR), transformed into it current status (with autonomy and other powers) through the enactment of the FIRS (Establishment) Act 13 of 2007.
The commencement date of this Act was 16th April, 2007 and the Act is a compendium of provisions to guide the effective administration of taxation in Nigeria by the FIRS.By virtue of its mandate as stated in the Act, the FIRS is charged with the primary responsibility of assessing, collecting and accounting to the Government for various Federal taxes specified in the First Schedule of the Act.
In 2003, the Federal Government of Nigeria recognized that poor service delivery in the public sector had become an urgent national issue and undertook a series of steps that lead to the entering into a Service Compact (SERVICOM) with all Nigerians in March 2004. This was followed by the creation of the SERVICOM office within the Presidency to ensure the entrenchment of excellent service delivery in the public sector in policy, programmes and practice.
In line with the subsequent Presidential Mandate, the FIRS created a unit in 2014 to institutionalize Service Delivery within the Service.This unit has undergone various transformations to meet the tempo of ever-changing FIRS organizational reforms and the needs of taxpaying public and stakeholders. In 2011 FIRS created a Taxpayer Service Department (TPSD) for enhanced focus on taxpayers as well as National Taxpayer Advocate position (in 2012) to ensure effective high-level advocacy for taxpayers.
In a revenue authority operating within the twin boundaries of fast-tracked economic development and a national transformation agenda, we have recognized that excellent service delivery is a critical aspect of our operational success. In our quest to deliver quality service to taxpayers and operate an efficient and transparent tax system that optimizes tax revenue collection for National Development, as specified in our vision and mission statements, this charter has been developed for the benefit of our taxpayers and stakeholders.
This Charter set out the services provided by FIRS and the standards our esteemed service takers (Taxpayers& other Stakeholders) can hold us to and also provide the mode and channels through which to lay service delivery complaints and make suggestions for continuous improvement.
“To deliver quality service to taxpayers, in partnership with other stakeholders and make taxation the pivot of national development”
The FIRS vision was developed as part of the FIRS Reform Agenda in 2004;
Similarly, our mission statement
“To operate an efficient and transparent tax system that optimizes tax revenue collection and voluntary compliance”
To ensure we realize our vision and mission, the FIRS has identified four cardinal values that all staff must imbibe and guard their comportment and conduct.
- Collective Responsibility
Distilling from the above corporate position, our ethical code of conduct for all FIRS staff mandate that a Tax officer must:-
- Be honest and impartial
- Not collude with taxpayers to defraud or reduce tax obligations
- Refuse gratification in any form
- Not tarnish the image of the Service
- Pay taxes promptly and correctly
- Be courteous, professional and diligent
- Be professional and competent on duty
- Educate and encourage the tax payers to pay taxes as and when due
- Implement the tax laws fairly, uniformly and equitably
B. TAX PAYERS AND STAKEHOLDERS
There are a large number of bodies and individuals that we provide various services to and these include but are not limited to;
- Taxpayers and the General public
- Tax Advisers/Practitioners/Consultants
- Auditors, Lawyers, Accountants and relevant professional bodies
- Embassies, Diplomats and other Foreign bodies
- Contractors and service providers to FIRS and all public and private institutions
- FIRS Board and staff
- Tax Appeal Tribunal
- The Joint Tax Board
- Three Arms of the Federal government, namely the Executive (Presidency) Legislature (National Assembly) & Judiciary
- Three Arms of the State government, namely: Executive, Legislature & Judiciary as well as Local Government Councils
- Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal government
- Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the State governments
- Civil society and Not for profit organizations/Non-Governmental organisations
- International and local donors, Strategic and Technical partners
C. SERVICES RENDERED
The FIRS renders the following key services to its taxpayers and stakeholders
- Statutorily and administratively, the FIRS has the responsibility for the assessment, collection and accounting for the following taxes to the Government:
- Petroleum Profits Tax
- Companies Income Tax
- Value Added Tax
- Education Tax
- Capital GainTax on bodies corporate&residents of the Federal Capital Territory and non –resident individuals
- Stamp Duties on bodies corporate, and residents of the Federal Capital Territory and non –resident individualS
- National Information Technology Development Fund(NITDF) Levy
- Personal Income Taxes in respect of:
Members of the Armed Forces of the Federation
Members of the Nigeria Police Force
Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and non-resident individuals
The due dates for the collection of these taxes are provided for by law. See our website www.firs.gov.ng
- The timely provision and publication of accurate data and annual reports to the Federal Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders to inform national economic planning, academic research, tax policy and development legislation;
- The timely provision of tax advisory services, rulings,guidance notes and clarifications on request and to the public in general;
- The regular investigation, enforcement and prosecution of tax defaulters as provided by the law;
- The issuance of “Taxpayer Identification Number” (TIN) at no cost to the taxpayer. This is a unique, sequential number generated electronically as part of the tax registration process and assigned to a taxpayer, whether company, enterprise or individual for identification. Section 8(1) (q) of the FIRS (Establishment) Act enjoins the Federal Inland Revenue Service to issue taxpayer identification number to every company, enterprise and individuals in collaboration with State Internal Revenue Services (SIRS) and Local Government Councils;
- The prompt processing of payment claims and tax refund requests received, within stated time frames;
- Undertake appropriate actions to reduce the arrears position of the service and minimize debt profile;
- The regular and accurate reconciliation of taxes received into Federation, Consolidated and VAT Accounts e.tc.as the case may be;
- Provision of tax education & information to taxpayers through diverse channels and languages.
D. SERVICES DELIVERY STATEMENT
In FIRS, we will align our actions with our core values and
- Ensure prompt, professional and courteous treatment to taxpayers and stakeholders at any of our service windows all times: visitors to all our offices will be attended to within a maximum of 15 minutes.
- Conduct the task of tax administration with due skill,diligence and with proper regard for the technical and professional standards expectedof tax administrators
- Endeavor to accommodate persons and corporate bodies with special needs and unique interests within the limits of the law and national interest.
- Ensure that all communication is acknowledged within 48hours of receipt, andthat a timeline for action and contacts for follow up are also provided.
- Commit to closing all requests/complaints within 10 working days and where this is not feasible, to communicate alternative dates to the concerned parties in a timely fashion
- Recognize taxpayers rights to privacy and confidentiality
E. MONITORING & REPORTING OF PERFORMANCE
The SERVICOM Nodal Officer leads the team that monitors FIRS service delivery standards and implementation on a routine basis across the nation where we have our offices.
Subsequently,this information, and data collated from stakeholders& taxpayers feedback/complaints, forms a part of the annual FIRS report to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
F. CUSTOMERS OBLIGATION TO FIRS
To enable us to provide excellent service to our taxpayers and stakeholders, we ask that they
- Be fully acquainted with the FIRS Integrated Service Charter and promptly report any breach using the appropriate channels;
- Regularly acquaint themselves with the provisions of tax laws that relate to them and abide by them accordingly;
- Follow laid down procedures to obtain required services and make enquiries from the appropriate quarters when in doubt;
- Submit complete and honest information necessary for optimum and realistic assessment and collection of taxes as well as in the delivery of any other relevant service;
- Deduct, remit and account for taxes as and when due;
- Provide the Service with feedback or information on practices that are detrimental or supportive of building the desired tax compliant environment;
- Avoid negative influence or inducement of tax officials and report requests for bribes and inducement to the appropriate authorities.
There are some limitations that may affect the implementation of this Charter;
- The amendment and promulgation of tax laws usually take a long time and is outside the control of the FIRS
- Taxpayer’s knowledge of tax laws and processes is low and therefore they may not be aware that they have a basis to complain
- Cultural changes take time and this will impact on the ability of the FIRS to evolve to a service focused organization as well as the general populace to understand that they have a right to be well served
H. COMPLAINTS/GRIEVANCES REDRESS MECHANISMS
We believe that it is in your interest to ensure that your grievances are heard and addressed and have detailed the various means through which you can lay your complaints and provide us with feedback and suggestions.
- TAX RELATED COMPLAINTS
There are four levels at which grievances/disputes with taxpayers can be heard. If disputes/grievances are not immediately addressed, taxpayers are encouraged to proceed along the various levels below to air their grievances:
|First Level: Tax Controller (TC) of the tax office||48 hours|
|Second Level: State Coordinator (SC)|
(depending on office the grievance was initiated from –
See Appendix I – for contact details of SCs)
|Third Level: FIRS Helpdesk |
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Tel. – 09073777777; 09072111111; 09074444441; 09074444442
|Fourth Level: SERVICOM|
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
If these channels do not produce a result satisfactory to you, please consider external channels such as independent arbitration & mediation services, the Tax Appeal Tribunal and other courts of law. Details of the contacts above is available on www.firs.gov.ng
- NON TAX-RELATED COMPLAINTS
For complaints and enquiries that are not tax related, please complain first to the relevant Departmental SERVICOMFocal Officer/helpdesk.
If you are not satisfied with the resolution offered, please contact;
- In person/writing
The SERVICOM Nodal Officer,
Office of the Executive Chairman
Federal Inland Revenue Service
20 Sokode Crescent
Wuse Zone 5, FCT Abuja
E-mails: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
- TO COMPLAIN ABOUT FRAUD AND CORRUPT PRACTICES
Please note that all information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence and you will not be victimized for providing information or complaining about corrupt practices.
I. STAKEHOLDERS PARTICIPATION IN SERVICE DELIVERY
- FIRS regularly participates in meetings, holds consultations with IMF, World Bank, OECD, UNDP,DFID,EU and attend conferences and workshops organized by these and other bilateral and multilateral Institutions. These bodies are also consulted in matters of funding support for relevant projects and staff development
- Consultations are held regularly with professional bodies, foreign and local consultants, academic experts and advisors on sector/specific issues such as budgets, taxes, shipping insurance and tariff matters etc.
- In addition, the Service regularly holds taxpayer education and engagement sessions nationwide, collates information received to inform administrative actions and operational planning
- The Service attends to complaints and enquiries from the general public through SERVICOM Focal Officers in tax offices across the nation and via our communication channels listed previously.
J. FUTURE OUTLOOK
Our future outlook is a modernized and fully automated Service, branded for professionalism and high ethical values in customized service delivery on which Government will depend as the major provider of sustainable revenue for national development.
K. CHARTER REVIEW
This charter is expected to be reviewed two years from the date of publication or as the need arises.
L. APPENDIX –I
CONTACT DETAILS OF STATE COORDINATORS
|SN||OFFICE||E-MAIL ADDRESS||PHONE NO.|
|1||STATE COORDINATOR |
OGUN, OYO AND OSUN
|2||STATE COORDINATOR |
|3||STATE COORDINATOR |
LAGOS MAINLAND EAST
|4||STATE COORDINATOR |
LAGOS MAINLAND WEST
|5||STATE COORDINATOR |
ABIA,EBONYI, AND ENUGU
|6||STATE COORDINATOR |
AKWA IBOM, BAYELSA,AND CROSS RIVER
|7||STATE COORDINATOR |
ADAMAWA, TARABA AND GOMBE
|8||STATE COORDINATOR |
PLATEAU, BAUCHI, BORNO AND YOBE
|9||STATE COORDINATOR |
IMO AND ANAMBRA
|10||STATE COORDINATOR |
KEBBI, SOKOTO AND ZAMFARA
|11||STATE COORDINATOR |
JIGAWA, KANO AND KATSINA
|12||STATE COORDINATOR |
BENUE, KADUNA AND NIGER
|13||STATE COORDINATOR |
FCT, KOGI AND NASSARAWA
|14||STATE COORDINATOR |
KWARA, ONDO AND EKITI
|15||STATE COORDINATOR |
EDO, DELTA AND RIVERS