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Tax Amnesty: VAIDS begins data collection on Nigerians

*Raise tax profile from 6% to 20%

By Adeyemi Robinson-Adefioye, Lagos

Profiles of income and assets of high net-worth individuals and companies in the country under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) has begun. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the VAIDS office in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

According to the statement, useful data of all payments and receipts over N100 million between 2010 and 2015 has been collected from the Nigerian Customs Service.

Similarly, data on all beneficiaries of payments in excess of N100million has been received from the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

Over the next few weeks, a lot of data is expected to be mined from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Over the next few weeks, data is expected from State Lands Departments, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and land registries.

Other sources from which data will be derived are banks, instruments such as treasury bills and Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and payment platforms such as Remitta.

“This is the first step in collecting intelligence that will ensure that corporate entities and individuals who may refuse to take advantage of VAIDS.

The data being collected is on individual and corporate liquid as well as fixed assets and income over the last five years both within and outside Nigeria. Data collected will be profiled against tax payments made by such individuals and corporate entities,” the statement said.

VAIDS, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance, provides a time-specific opportunity for taxpayers with tax liabilities to regularise their tax status by truthfully declaring previously undisclosed assets and income.

Taxpayers who take advantage of the window avoid penalties and interest on taxes owed, tax audits and prosecution for tax offences.

Through the implementation of VAIDS, the Federal Government expects to generate about $1billion, raise the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio from an unimpressive 6%, one of the lowest in the world, to 20% by 2020 and provide vast tax education to boost voluntary tax compliance.

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