FG extends tax amnesty programme by 2 months

The Nigerian government has approved the extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) to June 30, 2018.

The government said the short extension after the original March 31, 2018 date is based on the appeals of professional bodies and individual taxpayers as no further extension of time will be approved after June 30.

Recall that few weeks to deadline, Ayodele Zubair, Chairman of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), said the agency has been approached by many individuals and corporate organisations seeking to declare their indebtedness.

Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) in a statement released on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, said President Muhammadu Buhari approved the new date based on the conviction of the Ministry of Finance that the overall objective to increase compliance will be attained, and additional revenue will accrue.

According to the President, a fresh Executive Order will be made to give legal backing to the new timeline.

"For a nation of people who are competitive and driven, it is not a pride that we are the lowest performer in tax to GDP, not just in Africa, but in the world.

"Nigeria's growth needs are such that every Nigerian must do his duty to his nation, to his neighbour, and to himself.

"Hiding monies overseas, evading taxes by manipulation, and other unwholesome practices, have never developed a country, and for Nigeria to attain her true potential, these must stop," the statement reads.

Government urges individuals to regularise tax payment

The President urged Nigerian companies and individuals to join government in the rebuilding mission, "and do the right thing by taking this window of extension to regularize."

He added that the right thing may not be convenient or comfortable, "but in the long run, we will all have a nation we can be proud of."

President Buhari further urged tax authorities to use the extension window to perfect plans to prosecute those who fail to regularize their tax status.

Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS)

VAIDS is one of the key policies being used by the Federal Government to reposition the Nigerian economy and correct inherited underdevelopment.

The government said the country has one of the lowest tax collection rates in the world at just 6% of GDP and that the reliance on oil made Nigeria to abandon the historical revenue collection systems and switch to a culture of sharing resources, rather than generating them.

President Buhari had last year launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), and the VAIDS tax amnesty is first in the series of reforms that will transform tax system and provide sustainable predictable funding for all tiers of government.