The Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Joint Audit and Investigation Team for the exchange of information between both agencies.
According to the communique signed by Ayodele Subair, Executive Chairman, LIRS, and Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman, FIRS, the Joint Tax Audit is aimed at improving tax administration by reducing tax compliance cost, thereby enhancing the ease of doing business in the country.
A statement urged the general public, taxpayers and tax practitioners must provide full support and cooperation for the overall economic beneﬁt of all stakeholders.
Speaking on the MoU, Subair said “there is no reason to debate the above as it has been established that tax compliance and good governance are expected to co-exist as the undividable social contract that binds citizens and governments anywhere in the world.”
Citizens and governments, he continued, are therefore expected to fulfil their end of the bargain in achieving a balance.”
Also commenting, the FIRS Executive Chairman, said such “cooperation would enable the two authorities to work as a team in sharing relevant information that would assist both parties in their tax administration and enforcement roles as it would also provide capacity building between both tax authorities.
“We will carry out a joint audit and investigation as a team, we will also conduct an automatic exchange of information for gathering data for the purpose of tax administration. With that information, we would be able to carry out tax administration seamlessly,” he stressed.
The communique says while the notice was issued for the information and guidance of the general public, taxpayers and tax practitioners in line with the MoU, the partnership between both agencies will ensure efficiency, accurate assessments and increased revenue for funding of Government expenditure,
The agencies, the communique continued further, are leveraging on their existing distinct competencies in tax administration to collaborate in the areas of exchange of information, harmonization of an integrated tax system and joint tax audit or investigation exercise (where necessary) in carrying out their respective mandates for the purpose of optimizing tax revenue to the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government respectively.
The collaboration is expected to improve tax administration to enhance revenue generation, create a robust database, and improve on the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio.
The parties are expected to establish a Joint Audit or Investigation Team to be known as the FIRS/LSBIR JAIT (JAIT), whose membership shall be determined by both parties to conduct a joint audit or investigation exercise which shall be concluded timeously.
The communique also assured the public that employees of both parties will abide by the Code of Conduct and Ethical compliance to assure that the implementation of the MOU does not impact negatively on the taxpayers and the parties.