FG Recovers N30bn Through VAIDS
The Nigerian government has recovered about N30 billion both from individuals and corporate establishments through the federal government-initiated Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler has announced. While the FIRS collected about 90 per cent of this figure, the various states of the federation collected 10 per cent, the FIRS chairman said yesterday in his remarks at a workshop for tax authorities and unveiling of VAIDS certificates to those who partook in the voluntary assets and income declaration in Abuja. Fowler, who said the scheme has had unquantifiable impact in promoting voluntary compliance since inception last year, added that one of the outcomes of the initiative was its direct impact on growth of the national taxpayers’ database from under 14 million pre 2016 numbers to over 19 million in 2018. “We are confident that these numbers will translate into a positive growth in Nigeria’s Tax Revenue to GDP ratio when the official percentage for 2017 is released,” he said. According to him, the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee is also proposing a National Tax Day, a special day to be set aside every year for awareness and sensitisation on tax- related matters. Fowler maintained that as part of activities to ensure increased awareness on the scheme in particular and tax compliance in general, staff of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) secretariat in partnership with the federal ministry of finance would continue to hold weekly Tax Thursday sensitisation exercises in the states till the end of the amnesty programme on June 30. The FIRS chairman said his team was constantly seeking to preach the message of voluntary compliance to the grassroots through a number of programmes including FIRS.JTB/SMEDAN collaboration aimed bring small business operators into the tax bracket. The workshop was organised specifically for all the executive chairmen of the States Internal Revenue Service to review activities on implementation of the scheme thus far for the purpose of strategising to ensure optimal maximisation of its potentials as the final weeks and days of the amnesty programme approach. Stakeholders also dwelt on the post-VAIDS environment, identifying the next steps and the role of the critical actors in consolidating on the gains made, with a bid to plan for what happens after the scheme and how various tax authorities can utilise the information gathered through implementation of the programme.