Senate Kicks Against N17 Trillion Tax Waiver Loss, Calls for Policy Review

The Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance expressed dissatisfaction with the reported N17 trillion loss incurred by the Federal Government through tax waivers over the past five years.

As a result, the Red Chamber has recommended the suspension of the current tax waiver policy, citing its alleged abuse, and proposed the adoption of a tax rebate system in its place.

The Senate’s Finance Committee made this position known during the 2024 budget presentation by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) at the Senate Wing of the National Assembly in Abuja on Monday.

The committee emphasized the need to address the significant loss resulting from tax waivers and suggested that a tax rebate system, where excess taxes paid can be reimbursed to taxpayers, would be a more prudent approach.

While presenting the 2024 budget, the FIRS Chairman, Zacch Adedeji, projected a total tax collection of N19.4 trillion for the year. However, there was contention over the proposed N2.7 trillion Tax Credit earmarked for road construction by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

The FIRS chairman faced opposition as some senators insisted on halting the tax credit for road projects. The Senate’s call for a review of the tax waiver policy reflects concerns over its effectiveness and potential for abuse, signaling the need for more transparent and accountable measures in managing tax incentives.

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