LCCI opposes FIRS moves to restrain bank accounts of tax defaulters

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday expressed opposition to the move of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to restrain bank accounts belonging to individuals and businesses believed to have defaulted in tax payment.

The leading chamber in the country made its position known in a communiqué by its council, insisting that such a move would be counter-productive to other measures of the government aimed at promoting investments and financial inclusion.

LCCI said: “Revenue generation is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end. The ultimate objective is to ensure equity, improve welfare of citizens, create jobs and promote the advancement of the economy.

“The activities of agencies of government should be in tandem with the Ease of Doing Business Agenda of government and the promotion of the ideals of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).”

The council further noted that tax administration should be consistent with the principles of equity, fairness, legality, accountability and due process.

“Taxpayers should be given ample opportunity to defend their positions on tax matters before a lien is placed on their bank accounts. There are instances where company accounts were frozen in error because there was no proper engagement, documentation or communication with the tax payers”, LCCI said.