Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) announced today that it is set to introduce an electronic Tax Clearance Certificate (e-TCC) verification system to restrict cases of issuance of fraudulent certificates.

Director of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) for the FIRS, Kola Okunola, made this disclosure at an ongoing training session organised by the agency in collaboration with Journalism.com Ltd. in Abuja.

Okunola said the implementation of the e-TCC verification system is at an advanced stage, and that it was undergoing user-acceptance test ahead of deployment.

“The TCC will be out in the next four weeks. It will provide an e-repository of all TCCs issued by FIRS…enabling FIRS staff and authorised third parties to verify tax clearance certificates, thereby reducing the incidence of fraudulent certificates,” he said.

The Director said the system automatically sends Tax Clearance Certificates to the emails of taxpayers and also enables them to request for and print their TCCs online.

He said that the service recently commenced modalities for implementation of robust VAT automation mechanism for power, telecommunications, e-commerce, financial services, oil and gas, insurance, major hotels, malls and hospitality sectors.

Okunola said that the essence of VAT automation in the sectors was to help ensure transparency of tax remittance and help block leakages. “Meanwhile, FIRS management is currently adding additional payment gateway channels such as e-Transact to help expand the scope and widen the tax net,’’ he added.

Okunola said that regular conduct of taxpayer sensitisation was ongoing, adding that FIRS established the Federal Enlightenment and Engagement Tax Team (FEETT) to educate taxpayers on their tax obligations and rights.

According to him, FIRS has also installed customised digital signage that had been installed in FIRS Large Tax Offices nationwide to enhance taxpayers enlightenment as part of the efforts geared towards continuous taxpayer education.