FIRS Launches Digital Scheme to Include Informal Sector in Nigeria’s Tax Net, Monitor Traders

Dec 22, 2023 | Uncategorized

  • The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has launched a digital platform to bring market traders and others into the tax system
  • The FIRS said the initiative is to broaden Nigeria’s tax revenue and end multiple taxation and exploitation of the informal sector
  • The agency stated that the initiative is to monitor the revenue and turnover of the traders

Pascal Oparada has over a decade of experience covering Tech, Energy, Stocks, Investments, and Economy.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), on Thursday, December 21, 2023, officially started the implementation of the Integrated Market Revenue Management System (IMRMS) to bring the informal sector, specifically market traders, into the federal government’s tax framework.

The traders’ enumeration commenced in Abuja on Thursday, December 21, 2023, to kick-start the process.

FIRS, Traders
MATAN members and the stakeholders at the event
Credit: FIRS
Source: Original

The platform will bring more traders into the tax net

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The digital platform aims to capture and formalise the tax contributions of market traders across Nigeria.

In collaboration with the Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN), representing over 40 million traders nationwide, FIRS introduced the VAT Direct Initiative (VDI).

The partnership seeks to collect and remit Value Added Tax (VAT) from traders in the marketplace through the IMRMS platform.

Platform to monitor traders’ turnover and multiple taxation

The VDI involves:

  • The digital enumeration of MATAN members.
  • Granting them digital identities.
  • Monitoring turnover to facilitate the collection and remittance of VAT to FIRS.

Daily Trust reports that the move aligns with the government’s strategy to expand the tax base, ensuring more comprehensive revenue collection.

One of the key objectives is to address issues of multiple taxation in marketplaces.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the event, Ambassador Olakunle Johnson Moses, chairman of the steering project committee on VAT Direct Initiative, said that the drive would bring good governance and changes as the traders suffer from multiple taxation and extortion by louts in the marketplaces and the roadsides.

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He said:

“What this programme will do for them is that they are going to be enumerated; through this enumeration, they will have a multi-purpose ID card; through this ID card, their benefits will be tied to the multi-purpose ID card.

“These benefits include free legal services, non-interest loans, insurance, and everything else denied by this country.

“But, with this initiative, all their rights will become a reality. And again, this initiative will boost the internally generated revenue of the three tiers of government.”

Adebayo Adefeogbe, acting director of VAT FIRS, emphasized that the initiative would provide coordinated access to almost 70% of untaxed revenue in the informal sector.

Moses Ige, MATAN’s National Coordinator of Incentives, called upon market leaders to sensitize their association members, ensuring their participation in the VAT Direct Initiative (VDI).

He said:

“Those in the public service constitute about 20% of the adult population; they enjoy free health insurance coverage, pensions, and other incentives because they are public services, but now the remaining 80% will be enjoying all these services through MATAN.

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“That makes VDI a landmark achievement for this government. We might see it now once the implementation becomes a reality. All of us will enjoy and smile at the end of the day.

“Not only are we talking about taxation, which will bring more money to provide infrastructure, other services, and the dividends of democracy, but we are also talking about giving directly – the government giving back to the people.”

FIRS Rakes in N5.5 Trillion in Tax Revenue in 6 Months, Exceeds Expectations reported that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) collected a total tax revenue of N5.5 trillion for six months from January to June 2023.

The FIRS set a new record after collecting over N10 trillion in revenue in 2022. It was the first time the revenue agency crossed the N10 trillion mark in tax revenue collection.

The agency’s realization of this feat is coming even though Nigerians have been plagued by several economic hardships in the course of the six months including naira scarcity, inflation, fuel subsidy removal, and high petrol prices.


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