Nigeria rakes in N300bn under Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme
Mr Tunde Fowler, Chairman, Federal inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
Abuja, June 7, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The Chairman, Federal inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr Tunde Fowler has said the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) policy has raked in about N300 billion from previous tax defaulters.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja while declaring open, the official presentation of VAIDS certificates to chairmen of states’ tax revenue authority, Fowler said the N300bn recovered thus far came from both individuals and corporate establishments.
He said the FIRS collected 90 per cent of the amount, while the states collected the balance of 10 percent.
The VAIDS amnesty window ends 14th June, 2018 after which all tax defaulters will be clamped down by the tax authorities.
Recall the federal government on July 1, 2017 granted tax payers grace period to regularise their tax positions under the VAIDS scheme.
Mr. Fowler also said through the VAIDS amnesty window, the number of Nigerians paying taxes has improved from 14 million to 19 million.
He told the members of Joint Tax Board (JTB) that the beauty of VAIDS is beyond financial gain attraction but, rather its potential of expanding the tax net.
“Looking beyond the financial returns of the scheme, the impact it has had in promoting voluntary compliance is unquantifiable. One of the outcomes of the scheme, whether directly or indirectly is the growth of the national tax payer database from under 14 million pre 2016 number to over 19 million in 2018, and we are confident that these numbers will translate into a positive growth in the country tax revenue to GDP ratio when the official percentage for 2017 have been released “, Fowler said.
He said some states have achieved significant progress under the VAIDS compliance hence they were invited to share their experiences.
“ We believe that this aspect of the workshop will facilitate the exchange of ideas which we are confident will assist all of us in utilizing the remaining period that is provided by the scheme. VAIDS goes beyond just taking advantage of immediate gains. In recent time, the incidence of illicit financial flows, aggressive tax avoidance and outright tax evasion have come into the front burner,” Mr Fowler said.
“The international community, recognized the need to present a united front against this trend, which is a limiting factor in the quest towards exploiting the inherent potentials of tax as a viable alternative to sustainable revenue generation, especially for developing and emerging economies, have designed and is implementing a number of initiatives that will leave no hiding place for the tax evader”, said FIRS Chairman.
He admonished State Revenue Chairmen to constantly engage in enlightening tax payer about voluntary tax compliance as a way of building a friendlier tax environment .