This was made known by the FIRS Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, at a one-day media sensitization workshop on Voluntary Assets & Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, in Abuja.
Mr. Fowler said the affected properties, which belong to individuals and corporate organisations, were sealed off since the VAIDS tax amnesty policy programme was launched last July.
The nation’s number one tax-collector said there were properties built and owned in the country under corporate names, without those organizations paying appropriate taxes to government. All those properties, including empty land or properties are currently being reviewed.
Fowler further explained that by law, if owners of such corporate organisations do not file revenue returns or pay corporate tax, the FIRS has adopted a policy of calculating tax returns on 20 per cent of the company’s annual turnover.
“We have waited for the owners of these properties to come forward and regularize their records. Very soon we would be going to court to seek permission to dispose of these properties. Whatever is realized would be to make up for the outstanding liabilities. If any change is left we give it to the owners,” Mr. Fowler said.
“For a company to own a property, there must be that money came from some source. For an individual, it also works the same way. An individual who earns N10 million annual salary, but owns property valued at N100 million will have to pay tax on the difference in amount, because the excess money must have come from somewhere,” the FIRS Chairman explained.
On the impact of the recent government policy to invite to privileged Nigerians to voluntarily regularize their tax statuses, Mr. Fowler said about N17 billion had been realized from five companies, with additional N6 billion expected to be paid before the end of December.
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Mr Fowler further advised Nigerians to take advantage of the nine months amnesty window to regularize their tax status and avoid the fine that would follow after the March 2018 deadline.