Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, says the federal government plans to eradicate sharp practices that could compromise the integrity of tax administration and revenue system.
Speaking during a meeting between the ministry’s whistleblower unit and the presidential initiative on continuous audit (PICA), Adeosun said the finance ministry has information on those who obtained false tax clearance.
According to her, two senior tax officials had been suspended in Delta and Benue states from evidenced-based tips sent in by whistle-blowers.
“The ministry is currently analysing over 200 additional whistleblowing tips including recordings between tax officials and potential taxpayers in which various practices, designed to reduce tax payable, were detailed,” Adeosun said.
“These practices include demands for personal gratification by tax officers, promises to procure backdated tax clearance certificates and offers to conspire to reduce taxes payable.
“The data analysis being undertaken within the federal ministry of finance is readily exposing those who have obtained tax clearance certificates that are either forged or are not consistent with their true income levels.
“We have cases of procurement of tax clearance certificates with no corresponding records or assessments in the tax offices.
“Those who work in our tax offices must therefore demonstrate the highest level of integrity.
“People will not be encouraged to pay if they believe that those involved in the assessment are not transparent or are dishonest. We will continue to sanitise the system and also improve our controls.”