A joint tax audit aimed to reduce tax compliance costs, thereby enabling ease of doing business and improving tax administration in the country, has been created by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).
This was the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both agencies on Wednesday by the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami, and his LIRS counterpart, Mr Ayodele Subair.
The two organisations intend to use the audit and investigation team to encourage the exchange of information between both agencies. They have charged the general public, taxpayers and tax practitioners to provide full support and cooperation to both tax bodies for the overall economic beneﬁt of all stakeholders.
The joint tax audit, known as the FIRS/LSBIR JAIT, will have a membership to be determined by both parties to conduct a joint audit or investigation exercise, which shall be concluded timeously.
Speaking on the deal, Mr 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. Therefore, citizens and governments are expected to fulfil their end of the bargain in achieving a balance.”
On his part, Mr Nami said, “The 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 conduct a joint audit and investigation as a team; we will also conduct an automatic exchange of information for gathering data for tax administration. With that information, we could carry out tax administration seamlessly.”
In a communique, the FIRS and LIRS said they are leveraging their existing distinct competencies in tax administration to collaborate in the areas of exchange of information, harmonisation of an integrated tax system and joint tax audit or investigation exercise (where necessary) in carrying out their respective mandates to optimise tax revenue to the federal government and the Lagos State government.