FIRS targets increased tax revenue from VAIDS in 2018

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, said it is targeting more tax revenue from the implementation of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, this year.

Between July 1 when it was launched and December 31, 2017, FIRS Chairman, Tunde Fowler, said the federal government earned about N23 billion from the scheme initiated to provide taxpayers with undisclosed income and assets opportunity to regularise their tax status.

The scheme has been described as a viable strategy to boost the country’s low tax-to-gross domestic product, GDP, ratio; currently put at six per cent.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said last December that VAIDS would help close the gap in earnings from crude oil sales.

The minister said many individuals and corporate organisations with undeclared taxes have been approaching tax authorities to declare and pay up their tax liabilities.

Mr. Fowler said the FIRS was determined to generate more revenue through the scheme for government before the amnesty period ends on March 31.

He said since October, the VAIDS office has been collating financial data of all tax payers in the country by liaising with the various state governments and revenue-generating agencies.

He listed the agencies to include the FIRS, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF and the National Communications Commission, NCC.

“Data obtained from these agencies will be used to determine companies that have failed to remit taxes on earned income, including those with undeclared assets and corporate organizations that have collected taxes on behalf of government without remitting,” Mr. Fowler explained.

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He said the various state governments and Abuja authorities have also shown support for the scheme by volunteering to provide transaction data necessary to identify defaulters.

In addition, the chairman said, the VAIDS office would deploy a variety of technology-based tools and international information-sharing agreements, as well as rely on data on contracts and transactions above N50 million.

He said such data would be obtained from the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON and Nigeria Export-Import Bank, NEXIM.

He said such data were currently being matched with those obtained from the FIRS, Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC and Government Integrated Financial and Management Information Systems, GIFMIS, to determine companies that have not been paying taxes.

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