Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun has disclosed that the Federal Government is considering a request from state governments and the private sector for an extension of the tax amnesty programme known as VAIDS.
She made this known in a press statement released at the weekend.
VAIDS is a nine-month tax amnesty programme created to allow various parties regularise their tax status. The deadline for the programme expired on Saturday, March 31.
“The federal government is reviewing the numerous extension requests by the states and the private sector, which have cited some logistic challenges such as non-availability of the declaration forms in some states and the declaration of public holidays to commemorate Easter,” Adeosun said while responding to media enquiries in Abuja.
“We have also received tremendous support from foreign countries which provided data under the exchange of information protocols. The data include bank records and financial filings for tax purposes.”
The minister said tax evaders risk forfeiting their assets and prosecution. According to her, the government’s data mining unit in the ministry, Project Lighthouse, has compiled data of taxpayers from land registries from 36 states and federal capital territory as well as their bank accounts.
She said the common violations by non-compliant taxpayers include under-declaration of and non-declaration of income earned including income from government contracts and non-remittance of value-added tax (VAT) to the federal Inland Revenue service (FIRS).
According to her, both parties had requested an extension due to the absence of declaration forms and the Easter holidays.
Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) was a nine (9) month providing a window of opportunity to allow taxpayers who owe taxes to voluntarily declare their Asset and Income from within and outside Nigeria; and pay taxes due on them while in return they get some benefits. The initial deadline expired this Saturday.