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Welcome to Nigeria: Hell on Earth?

Jul 11, 2020 | CBlog, From Our Founder | 0 comments

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You own a business
You need Tax Clearance Letter (TCL).
You call your State FIRS office.
They tell you to come to the office.
You head to their office.
After waiting for your turn to see Tax Controller (TC), you finally see him at 2pm.
You tell him what you want, and he tells you that nonprofit TCLs can only be processed at Medium Tax Office (MTO), Abuja.
Why did they not tell you that over the phone?
Well, you call MTO Abuja, they ask you to come to the office.
Why must this be done at Abuja bikonu?
Anyway, you take a night bus to MTO, Abuja
You lodge in a hotel.
Then you take a cab to MTO office.
There, they tell you to complete forms.
You complete the forms and submit.
Then, they tell you to come back tomorrow.
Why won’t they give you a checklist of what you need to do right away?
Anyhow, you show up the next day.
They tell you to submit audited tax returns.
Wish they told you this yesterday right?
You get upset but head back to your hotel.
You return the next day with your audited returns which as a nonprofit you submit annually to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
They reject it because it was not formatted in FIRS format.
They now advise you to go to a tax consultant.
Gosh! Why do we have to have two formats to file tax returns to same government?
Well, you go back to your hotel room to look for a tax consultant.
You find one and he asks you to come to the office.
You show up in his office and show him what you gave to MTO.
He moves things around and puts same document you gave him in his stationery for 40k per tax year.
You go back to MTO and submit.
They tell you to come back the next day.
You show up the next day and they tell you how much penalties and fees to pay.
Then they give you a TIN number to go and pay at the bank.
You head to the bank and they keep you waiting for the rest of the day.
You show up the next day, the bank tells you that server is down.
You go home and show up the next day and make payments.
You then take the teller to MTO.
They accept it and ask you for something for the boys.
You refuse and go back to your hotel room.
You call the next day to confirm if the TCL is ready.
They tell you that the Tax Controller (TC) is not on seat to sign it.
You give them another day and then call again.
The same story. TC is in a meeting.
You complain to colleagues, they ask you to appreciate them ooh or wait forever.
You call the officer handling your case and ask for his account number.
He sends it to you immediately and you appreciate him.
The next day, he calls you and tells you that your TCL has been approved by the TC and will drop in your email.
You start checking your email, but nothing is dropping.
You call again after two days and they tell you that they are having coding issues with CAC.
You ask why?
They tell you that they pick organization names from CAC and CAC used codes incompatible with theirs to input organization names.
You ask them for solutions to the problem.
They tell you that the TC and CAC chair need to meet to resolve this.
You get upset and they tell you to call phone numbers on FIRS website to talk to TC.
You complain to your colleagues and they say: Have you appreciated the IT guy?
You refuse to appreciate the IT guy and decide to talk to the TC.
You call all 4 numbers on FIRS website, none goes through.
By this time, you’ve spent 10 days in a hotel in Abuja.
You now write an email to TC.
They reply after two days and tell you that they are having technical issues.
You board ABC back to your state without the TCL.
The deadline to submit the TCL to partners elapsed.

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