Tax defaulters are now in for a hard time as the federal government hires asset tracers to investigate the tax payment status of 150 firms/individual.
In a report published by the Nation, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun remarked that the investigators would rely on information derived from Bank Verification Number (BVN), records of property ownership, records of foreign exchange allocation, and records of company ownership from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), among others, to ascertain the income status of the companies /individuals vis-a-vis their lifestyle.
She made this known while delivering a lecture at the PWC’s Business School yesterday in Lagos, with the theme “Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) Interactive Session for Executives and Business Owners”
“We are working alongside projects we have locally, like the Bank Verification Number (BVN), records of property ownership, records of property allocation, records of company ownership from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), among others. It is from these projects that we look at how much tax such companies or individuals should be paying” she said.
The minister further remarked that no one would be left out in the campaign to enlarge the tax net adding that the response being received so far showed that people were embracing the tax policy.
The minister also disclosed that the people who are paying taxes are mainly those whose taxes are being deducted from source.
Also, the people who seem to be evading taxes are either on their own business, or high net-worth individuals.
“Ideally, they are supposed to be the biggest tax payers. What is happening now is that the lower earning people are carrying the huge burden, which is really unfair. So, we need to reverse that. Everybody has to pay their fair share, according to their level of income,” she added.
She said the Federal Ministry of Finance, in a bid to address this, set up the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) in collaboration with the 36 states. The scheme was launched by the Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
We believe that if well implemented, this could be a great way to achieve the preliminary tax target of $1 billion annually. Nevertheless, to complement this effort, there is a need to ensure that all the leakages and structural misalignment are fixed