The Federal Government expects to net considerable tax revenue this year through the implementation of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme.
The scheme is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance that provides a time-limited window for taxpayers with undisclosed incomes and assets to regularise their tax status.
According to the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Tunde Fowler, the VAIDS earned the Federal Government the sum of N17bn by early December 2017, while extra N6bn was netted by the end of the year.
The scheme, which terminates on March 31 this year, according to the FIRS in a statement on Monday, has been widely lauded as the solution to the meagre tax-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio of the country, which currently stands at six per cent, and bring more Tax revenue for national development by arresting the trend of near-total dependence on oil revenues, which have shrunk following the dip in international crude prices.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had in December said the many individuals and corporate organisations with undeclared taxes had been approaching tax authorities and expressing interest in declaring and paying up their taxes.
The statement added, “Towards its implementation, the VAIDS office has been harvesting financial data of Taxpayers through the cooperation of States, revenue-generating agencies of Government such as the FIRS, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Petroleum Technology Development Fund and the National Communications Commission.
“Data obtained from the agencies will be used to determine companies that have failed to remit taxes on earned incomes, those with undeclared assets and corporate organisations that have collected taxes on behalf of the government without remitting. State governments and the authority of the Federal Capital Territory have also shown support for the scheme by volunteering to provide transaction data necessary to identify defaulters.
“The VAIDS office, in addition to a variety of technological tools and international information-sharing agreements, will rely on data on contracts and transactions above N50m from obtained from the Nigeria Customs Service, Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria and Nigeria Export-Import Bank. Such data are currently being matched with those obtained from the FIRS, Corporate Affairs Commission and the Government Integrated Financial and Management Information Systems to determine companies that have not been paying taxes.”