The Last Days Of VAIDS: Why Taxpayers Should Take Advantage Of The Amnesty Programme

REASONS TAXPAYERS SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN VAIDS WHILE IT LASTS  

  • The VAIDS offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for tax offenders to regularise their positions without facing the stipulated legal consequences of their actions;

  • Every person (individual or corporate) who participates in the VAIDS between July 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 will be relieved from the payment of both interests and penalties on the tax evaded in addition to receiving amnesty from prosecution for any tax offences committed;

  • Every person (individual or corporate) who participates in the VAIDS between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018 will be shielded from prosecution for any tax offences committed;

  • Every participant in the VAIDS will have opportunity of self-assessing the taxes they are to pay or employ the services of accredited professionals of their choice to do the assessment and will be free from tax audit;

  • Taxpayers who have been holding assets by nominees will have the opportunity of transferring such assets into their own names without any penalty. In order words, declaration will allow assets to be legally and formally held by their true owners;

  • Those who fail to take advantage of the scheme and are later found to have under declared their income or assets will be treated as willful tax evaders and will therefore face the full force of the law;

  • Those who fail to take advantage of the scheme and are later found to have under declared their income or assets will in addition to payment of accrued interest and/or forfeiture of assets, be exposed to public ridicule through the FGN’s “Name and Shame” programme to follow.

 THE TAXMAN KNOWS YOU 

Information available from the Ministry of Finance indicates that the FGN may have obtained important data of all economically active Nigerian citizens and residents, as well as Nigerians in the Diaspora. The FGN has signed a retainer with one of the world’s leading asset tracing and recovery firms, to track the true assets of those who have not participated and would not participate in the VAIDS but are believed to have underpaid their taxes. Similarly, Nigeria has become a signatory to the Treaty on Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEI”) (an initiative of The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes), which has currently been signed by over 95 countries, for the global exchange of information on illicit financial flows and tax evasion.