The Federal Government has begun investigation into over 200 whistleblowing tips on tax officials demanding gratification and taxpayers involved in under declaration of taxes.
Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun spoke yesterday in Abuja while presiding over the meeting of the Whistleblower Unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).
The Federal Ministry of Finance had requested and secured the suspension of two senior tax officials in Delta and Benue states based on verified tips from Whistle-blowers.
The ministry is 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.
A statement by Oluyinka Akintunde, Special Adviser, Media and Communications to the Minister of Finance, quoted Mrs Adeosun as saying: “Encouraging our citizens to pay taxes is a matter of law but it is also a matter of trust. Those who work in our tax offices must therefore demonstrate the highest level of integrity. However, 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.
“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.”