Wike enforces tax clearance certificate as pre-condition for business transactions in FCT
As part of efforts to boost the territory’s revenue profile, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has ordered the enforcement of the Personal Income Tax and the FCT Internal Revenue Service Acts 2015
The minister in an October 4, 2023 memo directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies MDAs, Commercial banks, as well as FCT Secretariats, Departments and Agencies SDAs to ensure strict compliance with the laws particularly Section 85 of the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) and Section 31 of the FCT Internal Revenue Service Act 2015.
Mandate Secretary, FCT Economic Planning, Revenue Generation, and Public Private Partnerships Secretariat, Chinedum Elechi, at a news conference Monday in Abuja said the minister approved the implementation of Section 85 of Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) and Section 31 of the FCT Internal Revenue Service Act, 2015.
According to him, anyone who provides false information or obtains a TCC through forgery or falsification, would be liable upon conviction to a fine of N50,000 or a three year jail term or both upon conviction.
He added that a government entity or organization who failed to verify a TCC before any transaction is liable to a fine of N5,000,000 or a three year, jail term or both, upon conviction.
He said, “Section 31 of the FCT-IRS Act provides that all SDAs, corporate bodies, or any person empowered by law, shall demand a TCC from any person or enterprise for the last three years preceding the current year of assessment as a precondition for transacting any business in the FCT”.
The said transactions include Certificate of Occupancy, award of contracts, approval of building plans, application for FCTA loan for housing, business or any other purpose, registration of motor vehicles, land applications and a host of others.
He said; “Taxes are essential to the foundation of any government, and it is important that everyone pays their fair share. Payment of tax is a civic duty and responsibility. Implementation of these laws is intended to ensure that all eligible taxpayers in the FCT comply with their tax obligations”.
In the memo signed by Wike, the minister had said; “The Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA has observed with dismay, lack of implementation and adherence to the provisions of section 85 of Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), 2011 (as Amended) and Section 31 of the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service Act, 2015 that provide for the demand and verification of Tax Clearance Certificates TCC from residents of the FCT before rendering of services or performance of transactions.
“It is pertinent to note that both the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) 2011 (as amended) and the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service Act, 2015 provide that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Commercial Banks, Secretariats, Departments & Agencies (SDAs) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) as well as Area Councils, corporate bodies, and statutory authorities among others must demand and verify TCC from residents before rendering of services or performing any transaction.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 31(5) of the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Act 2015 provides that “A department, agency or official of the FCTA, any Area Council official, any corporate body, statutory authority or person empowered in that regard by this Act or any other law shall demand a tax clearance certificate for the three (3) years immediately preceding the current year of assessment as a pre-condition to transacting any business including but not limited to…” and shall verify the genuineness by referring same to the issuing tax authority.
“Consequently, all MDAS, SDAs, commercial banks, corporate and statutory organizations operating within the FCT are mandated to forthwith enforce the provisions of the extant laws by demanding from individuals, business names/enterprises and organizations current Tax Clearance Certificates for the last three (3) years before carrying out any business transaction and verifying with the FCT-Internal Revenue Service for those transactions listed in the schedule attached to this Circular as ANNEX 1.
“Any official of MDAs, SDAs, officials of the FCTA, Area Council officials, corporate body, statutory Authority or Commercial Banks who violates and fails to comply with the provision, is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N5,000,000.00 or to imprisonment for 3 years or both fine and imprisonment as provided for by section 85 (9) of PITA, 2011 (as amended)
“Please, bring the content of this Circular to the attention of all concerned for immediate implementation”.