Mr. Tunde Fowler, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has said the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) policy has raked in about N30 billion from previous tax defaulters.
Fowler was speaking yesterday in Abuja while declaring open the official presentation of VAIDS certificates to chairmen of states’ tax revenue authority.
He said through the VAIDS amnesty window, the number of Nigerians paying taxes has increased from 14 million to 19 million.
He told members of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) that the beauty of VAIDS is beyond financial gain attraction, but rather, its potential of expanding the tax net.
He noted that the FIRS collected 90 percent of the amount, while the states collected the balance of 10 percent.
According to him, the 30 billion so far mopped up from the tax scheme is 3 billion higher than the previous 27 billion recovered a few months ago, the Daily Trust relieved. Noting that the money recovered was from individuals and corporate bodies.
In his words:
“Looking beyond the financial returns of the scheme, the impact it has had in promoting voluntary compliance is unquantifiable. One of the outcomes of the scheme, whether directly or indirectly is the growth of the national taxpayer database from under 14 million pre 2016 number to over 19 million in 2018, and we are confident that these numbers will translate into a positive growth in the country tax revenue to GDP ratio when the official percentage for 2017 is released“
Recall that the Federal Government had at last year launched the VAIDS.
The amnesty window which originally lasted for 9 months and expired on March 31, 2018, has been extended until June 14, 2018.
The scheme seeks to provide a time-limited opportunity for tax-payers to regularise their tax status relating to previous tax periods and pay taxes due.
In exchange for fully and honestly declaring previously undisclosed assets and income, taxpayers will benefit from forgiveness of overdue interests and penalties, and also an assurance they do not face criminal prosecution for tax-related offences and tax investigation.
It also seeks to improve the low tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio currently about 6% to about 15% by 2020, broadening the Federal and State tax brackets.