High network individuals who have been avoiding tax may be in trouble as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Joint Tax Board have decided to share data with each other. The Joint Tax Board comprises representatives of the FIRS, state boards of internal revenue, FRSC, Customs, and Attorney General of the Federation. Under this arrangement, both the FIRS and Joint Tax Board will compare their data bases to make sure they align. 12 states have also signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Government on (VAIDS).
What this means
Individuals who have been dodging taxes will have no place to hide as their names will have to be in either one of the tax bases. Defaulters would be made to pay up arrears of taxes. State governments can also go after taxes on assets owned by these individuals within their jurisdiction. Prior to this, several state governments have been hamstrung due to lack of a data base. This could also lead to enhanced revenue for both tiers of government. Government has increasingly focused on boosting non oil revenue as a drop in crude oil prices and production figures dropped last year, pushing the economy into a recession.
The Federal Government had in July last month launched its Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), a 9 month tax amnesty programme for individuals and companies who have not been paying taxes. Under VAIDS, interest and penalties for unpaid taxes would be waived.