VAIDS: Lagos, Osun, Kaduna, FCT Move Against Tax Defaulters

The governments of Lagos, Osun and Kaduna states as well as the Federal Capital Territory administration have promised the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration (VAIDS) office in the Federal Ministry of Finance to provide all transaction data required to identify tax defaulters at the expiration of the first phase of the tax amnesty programme in March 2018. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the VAIDS office.

According to the statement, the VAIDS office expects states that provide all the required information to experience sharp rises in their respective Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), as analyses of the obtained data will lead to considerable recovery of otherwise lost revenues.

Earlier this month, the VAIDS office disclosed that it has begun collection of data on the income and assets of high net-worth individuals and companies in Nigeria. Useful data of all payments and receipts over N100million, according to the VAIDS office, have been obtained from the Nigerian Customs Service.

Also, data on all beneficiaries of payments above N100million have been obtained from the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Export-Import Bank, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and land registries.  The VAIDS office is equally looking to derive more data from treasury bills, Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and payment platforms such as Remitta.
Source: Vanguard

Nigeria Joins 71 Countries To Combat Tax Evasion

Nigeria has joined 71 other countries to combat tax evasion as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has signed two major multilateral instruments.

These instruments are the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI) and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement‎ (CRS MCAA).

Chairman, Mr. Tunde Fowler, Managing Director of FIRS signed the agreements on behalf of Nigeria in Paris, with Mr. Ben Dickinson, head of global relations and development division of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in attendance.

A statement issued by Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA), said the signing of the agreements makes Nigeria the 71st jurisdiction to sign the MLI and the 94th jurisdiction to join the CRS MCAA.

The agreements will give Nigeria automatic exchange of tax and financial information among 101 tax jurisdictions and enhance the country’s ability and those of the other countries to contain tax avoidance and evasion as well as share financial data.

The MLI is a legal instrument designed to prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) by multinational enterprises. It allows jurisdictions to transpose results from the OECD/G20 BEPS Project, including minimum standards to implement in tax treaties to prevent treaty abuse and “treaty shopping”, into their existing networks of bilateral tax treaties in a quick and efficient manner.

The text of the MLI, the explanatory statement and background information are available on OECD website along with the list of the 71 jurisdictions participating in the MLI and the position of each signatory under the MLI.

The CRS MCAA is a multilateral competent authority agreement based on Article 6 of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which aims to implement the automatic exchange of financial account information pursuant to the OECD/G20 Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and to deliver the automatic exchange of CRS information between 101 jurisdictions by 2018.

The text of the CRS MCAA, background information and the list of the 94 signatories are available on OECD website. Saint-Amans explained that the agreements will provide “automatic exchange of tax and financial information among 101 tax jurisdictions and enhance the ability of countries to contain tax avoidance and evasion.

It would be recalled that Fowler has said with the introduction of Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), no Nigerian can evade tax payment.

According to him, the board has received positive response so far on the scheme. To improve tax compliance, the Federal Government said tax offenders stand to enjoy 29 per cent waiver on overdue taxes if they take advantage of VAIDS. The VAIDS programme is aimed at reducing tax payers’ liability and creates more awareness on the statutory function of every working citizen to pay tax.

The scheme which started July 1, offers a window for those who, before now, have not complied with extant tax regulations to remedy their positions by providing them limited amnesty to enable voluntary declaration and payment of liabilities.

Source: Leadership

FG to to Give Huge Tax Debtors 3-Year Payment Plan

To encourage more voluntary or accidental tax defaulters to pay up, the Federal Government is to offer tax defaulters with huge (tax) liabilities up to a period of three years to spread their tax payment under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme.

According to a report by The Punch, “Top government officials involved in the implementation of VAIDS confided in our correspondent that those who failed to take advantage of the scheme and later found to have under-declared their income or assets would be treated as wilful tax evaders and made to face the full force of the law.

“The official said apart from prosecution, the government had agreed to allow taxpayers with huge tax debts to enter into arrangements to pay outstanding tax liabilities in instalments.

“However, he said while these categories of tax defaulters might be allowed to settle their tax obligations in instalments, they would be required to pay interest on the outstanding balance.”

“The official said, “Even though ignorance of the law is not an excuse, the government has decided to take the pragmatic approach of offering an amnesty window to allow Nigerians, who may have evaded tax, whether ignorantly or deliberately, the opportunity to do their civic duty and pay the correct taxes whilst providing the much needed revenue for Nigeria’s infrastructure.

“The Federal Government appreciates that many defaulters have assets but may not have cash. Therefore, taxpayers will be allowed to enter into arrangements to pay outstanding tax liabilities in instalments.

“Taxpayers may, at the discretion of the relevant authority, be granted up to three years to pay their liability, but will be obliged to pay interest on the outstanding balance.”

Nigeria Launches Nation-wide Tax Payment Campaign

As the Nigerian government seeks to increase its non oil revenue, the

Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has launched a nationwide campaign to enlighten and educate the public on the need to pay tax.

The campaign tag tax Thursday sensitization program is aim at implementing the the voluntary assets and income declaration scheme (VAIDS) launch by the present administration and increase the level of payment in nigeria

The campaign team visited market places, departmental shops and super market as well as shopping malls to educate traders and members of the public on payment of tax and its accrued benefits.

Unveiling the campaign in abuja, the executive chairman FIRS Mr. Babatunde Fowler said the need to increase government revenue cannot be over emphazised adding that the campaign would continue every thursday to raise tax awareness and result in massive enrollment of new tax payers.

Tax Thursday’ would continue every Thursday for the next one year, as part of efforts by the federal government to raise the consciousness of Nigerians on tax as a major source of revenue for the country.“The only way we can make Nigeria sweet is to start paying our taxes,”

Mr.fowler said the aim is to encourage nigerians to pay tax as it is being done in other part of the world.

“We have come out with the VAIDs programme, which gives everybody the opportunity to come out and declare their income and pay their contributions to ensure that Nigeria becomes a better place for all.
“I’m sure if we all contribute, Nigeria of our dreams will emerge. It will become a prosperous and conducive country to live in. Let’s join hands together to realize this dream by paying taxes,” Mr. Fowler said.

With the misconception of Nigerians on paying tax, chairman association of Nigerian traders, fct, edozie ogwu said the government a need to collaborate with traders for an effective tax inclusion
”We want to appeal to them to them to collaborate with us in some areas, we are ready to pay our taxes because without taxes, we cannot make the country work. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to regularize our taxes,” Mr. Ugwu said in its quest to achieve a broader tax base, the Nigeria Governments VAIDS programme offers a grace period from july 1, 2017 to march 31, 2018, for tax evaders to voluntarily pay back to government what they owe.

In exchange for full and honest declaration, the government promises to waive penalties that should have been levied and also waive the interest that should have been paid on overdue tax.

Nigeria’s tax compliance rate currently stands at 6%, whilst most developed nations records between 30-32%.

VON