Govt to publish names of tax defaulters next March - FAITH ADAMA'S BLOG

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Friday, 30 June 2017

Govt to publish names of tax defaulters next March




Tax defaulters who fail to pay up by March 31st, next year will have their names published, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

He gave the warning during the launch of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.
Disclosing that VAIDS will be operated from July 1st 2017 to 31st March 2018 to give opportunity to tax defaulters to regularise their tax affairs, Osinbajo also signed executive order to support the scheme.
Those who have diverted Nigeria’s legitimate tax revenues abroad or concealed them at home, he said, should taste the full force of the law.
Noting that many Nigerians are evading taxes, he said that only 214 Nigerians located in Lagos State are paying taxes of N20 million and above annually.
He also said that about 914 Nigerians, all located in Lagos State except two in Ogun State, pay taxes of N10 million and above annually.
Stressing that the government is committed to tax revenue accountability, he said that tax revenues will be a driver of real lasting progress in the country.
He said “The issue of accountability for tax revenue is one that this government is fully ready and able to address. In our war on waste and inefficiency at all levels we have positioned ourselves to ensure that tax revenues will be a driver of real lasting progress.
“Based on information on tax evasion that is now available, our personal preference is that those who have diverted Nigeria’s legitimate tax revenues abroad or concealed them at home, should taste the full force of the law, however the extent of noncompliance coupled with the urgent need to revive the economy has persuaded all of our policy makers that we adopt the pragmatic approach of declaring a time limited programme of the VAIDS.
“VAIDS will be operated from July 1st 2017 to 31st March 2018. It will be supported by an executive order that I will sign into law today.
VAIDS will offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to those in default toregularise their tax affairs.
“This is an offer in the spirit of national reconciliation and rebuilding and must be taken as such. In addition because we understand that those some tax payers may have challenges raising tax, we have built in a system that will allow those owing to pay over a period of time subject to conditions.
“Upon expiry of the scheme we will consider those who have failed to take advantage of this offer or who have declared falsely, to be be wilful tax defaulters and economic saboteurs.
“We will then proceed with aggressive investigation with a view to criminal prosecution. We will also publish a tax defaulters list to name and shame those refusing to do the right thing.” he stated
According to him, progress has been made in taxing those in paid employment.
He said “Generally speaking those who earn salaries that are known in a formal setting pay taxes. Those are the people we know pay taxes but there are high net worth Nigerians, self employed persons professionals and companies that are able to evade full tax payments due to the historical inability of tax authorities to access their true income.
“According to FIRS the total number of tax payers in Nigeria is just 14million and 96% of this number have their taxes deducted at source from their under the PAYE system while just 4% comply under direct assessment. So a vast majority of Nigerians do not pay taxes and this is at variance with our economy as we are estimating that almost 70million Nigerians are economically active.