FCT-IRS unveils electronic tax clearance certificate to check forgery

By Salisu Sani Idris  

By Salisu Sani-Idris

The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) has unveiled an Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate (E-TCC) to checkmate activities of fraudsters who could forge such document.

Acting Executive Chairman of the Service, Mr Haruna Abdullahi, disclosed this during his engagement with the members of the House Committee on Public Accounts at the National Assembly on Monday in Abuja.

Abdullahi explained that the E-TCC had fortified the process thereby making it difficult for anyone to forge such document because of the introduction of QR CODE.

He said this effort would help the Service not to be short-changed as well as boost revenue for the FCT.

The Chairman stated that the E-TCC was a document issued by the Tax Authority to certify that an individual or a business was in compliant with the appropriate requirements as stated by law within a stipulated period of time usually for the three preceding years.

Quoting Section 85 of the Personal Income Tax Act 2011 as amended, Abdullahi said:”whenever the relevant tax authority is of opinion that tax assessed on the income of a person for the three years immediately preceding the current year of assessment has been fully paid.

” Or that no tax is due on income or that the person is not liable to be taxed for any of those three years, it shall issue a tax clearance certificate to the person within two weeks of demand for the certificate by that person or give reasons for the denial.”

According to him, while issuing a tax clearance certificate, due diligence must be carried out to ensure certain conditions were met by the taxpayers and satisfied by tax authority.

He stated that application for the E-TCC must be made and duly endorsed by the taxpayer and annual income declaration form ‘A’ and three years income declaration form must also be duly completed and signed by the taxpayer.

The FCT-IRS boss also noted that personal emoluments which comprised wages or salaries, including allowances, benefits in kind, gratuities, superannuation or pension schemes and any other income derived solely by reason of employment were declared.

Abdullahi stressed that income declared must be verified, satisfied and evidences of such income be sited while benefit in kind must also be verified based on Section 4 of PITA 2011.

The chairman advised taxpayers to always endeavour to declare their incomes accordingly with evidence that would be satisfactory to the mangers of the tax authority, while due diligence would be carried out appropriately within the stipulated time.

“It is evident that the issuance of the TCC is at the discretion of the Service in its justification based on the items listed in section 31 of FCT-IRS Act, 2015 and PITA, 2011 (as amended) may issue or not issue a tax clearance certificate,” he added..

In his remarks, the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr Oluwole Oke, urged the general public or taxpayers to report any violation of the law, concerning issuance of TCC to the management of FCT-IRS.

Oke said that FCT-IRS should consider the legislative arm as a collaborator, who would work to ensure smooth operation of the service.

“We will support you in whatever way to generate more revenue in the FCT, try to have record of all the people resident in Abuja, the data is important, ask for bank statement to know the actual tax to collect.

“We will support FCT-IRS and help the Service to bring more people to the tax net,” he noted. (NAN)