Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has urged tax defaulters to take advantage of the recently introduced Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) to enjoy 29 per cent waiver on overdue taxes.
VAIDS programme was recently launched to reduce tax payers’ liability and create more awareness on the statutory requirement of every working citizen to pay tax.
Usually tax offenders when caught are liable to pay their tax plus 10 per cent of the total amount as penalty fee and 19 per cent as interest making a total of 29 per cent.
But if they take advantage of the VAIDS programme, they stand to save 29 per cent on interest and penalty on taxes they owe.
The VAIDS programme offers a lot of benefit to tax offenders. They will no longer pay interest, they will not pay penalty, they will no longer be investigated and they will not be subjected to regular audit. They will also not face criminal prosecution.
When you fail to pay taxes, you are liable to criminal prosecution because it’s a criminal offence. But with VAIDS, you won’t be prosecuted for those criminal offences,” he said.
SCOPE OF PROGRAMME
Time limited opportunity for taxpayers who are in default with their Nigerian tax liabilities to pay the tax due from them relating to a periods.
The programme will embrace all federal and state taxes such as Companies Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Petroleum Profit Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duties, Tertiary Education Tax, and Technology Tax.
The scheme is intended to cover all back duties taxes without any limit of time
No time limit on how far back a tax assessment can go where a taxpayer has wilfully defaulted or neglected to file a tax return or has filed a fraudulent return.
VAID is open to all persons who are in default on their tax liabilities including taxpayers who;
Have not been fully declaring their taxable income/assets
Have not been paying the tax due at all and or
Have been underpaying or under remitting.
The programme is open to both new taxpayers to both new taxpayers who are yet to register with the tax authorities and the existing registered taxpayers who have new disclosure to make.
The scheme applies to tax defaulters on undeclared assets within or outside the country
The Executive Chairman of the BIRS CHIEF (MRS) MIMI ADZAPE ORUBIBI said she has launched VAIDS Secretariat in BIRS Headquarters Makurdi, also making other avenues for people to reach the Secretariat through phones calls, whatsapp and emails. And the board had begun to receive people coming to voluntarily pay their taxes as a result to avoid penalties since the programme was launched by Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
On the sustainability of the programme, The Executive Chairman of the BIRS is urging the people of Benue to take the Federal government’s intention very seriously or face the Law.
This is not business as usual. Government will not forget about it. One important thing we need to bring to the attention of Nigerians is that come January 2018, we have already signed agreement for automatic exchange of information with;
Banks to use BVN to link all accounts of taxpayers.
With quite a number of countries to get foreign account details.
Property agencies to get details of legitimate property owners.
Whoever fails to take advantage of VAIDS, by the time the programme lapses, will then be liable to pay penalty, pay interest, face prosecution and be open for further tax investigation.
This is a very serious matter that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It is in the interest of every Nigerien not only Benue sons and daughters to take advantage of this scheme to ensure that you are free from prosecution in the nearest future.
The 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.
What that means is that from January, 2018 we will begin to give information about Nigerians resident in their countries. So we will know about their properties, their bank accounts and we will know about their shareholdings. All these information will become available to the BIRS/FIRS then we can swing into action by suing for tax invasion.