Fed Govt rakes in over ₦70bn from VAIDS



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Fed Govt rakes in over ₦70bn from VAIDS

By Nduka Chiejina



 

Federal Government’s data mining activities on taxpayers has shown that over ₦70 billion was realized from the now ended Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) programme.



Minister of finance, budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed made this disclosure on Thursday while inaugurating the board of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

According to Zainab Ahmed, “data from the VAIDS Tax Amnesty programme has since generated over ₦70 billion in terms of tax revenue; in underpaid taxes and significantly increased the quantum of previously undeclared, but taxable, assets.

In this regard, the minister noted that “Project Lighthouse continues to illuminate the grey areas where non-compliant taxpayers reside.

She also revealed that since the inauguration of the Tax Appeal Tribunals (TATs), nationwide, the TATs have resolved over 67 appeals with a disputed tax value of over ₦328.8 billion and USD6.6 billion.

Furthermore, the TATs she said “have identified new cases, so theyve reported 78 new TAT appeals with a disputed value of ₦73.3 billion and USD19.5 million.”

Many of these cases she said “will turn on the diligence, dedication and commitment of tax assessors at the FIRS to provide adequate evidence of tax evasion and underpayment to ensure the eventual verdicts are in favour of the federation.”

Zainab Ahmed commended the “staff of the FIRS, and their astute legal advisers, who have contributed to our recent successes at the TATs. Going forward, we expect that the FIRS will develop best practices and areas where there is need for reforms arising from an in-depth review of cases won and lost at the TATs.”

Zainab Ahmed lamented that Nigerias revenue to GDP has lagged well behind those of its international and continental peers, significantly undermining the Governments ability to fund critical expenditures without an undue reliance on volatile oil revenues and excessive deficit financing.

In this regard, government she said is committed to achieving a 15% Revenue to GDP ratio over the medium-term horizon, up from 6% – 8% it has averaged over the last few years.

She also noted that whilst the enhanced collaboration with Joint Tax Board and States Boards of Inland Revenue has resulted in the growth of registered taxpayers in Nigeria from 10 million in 2015 to over 20 million in 2018, “we expect the Harmonized Tax Registry (UTIN) project, once fully operational to increase the taxpayers base from 20 million to 45 million over the medium-term.”

Other priority technology-driven programmes that FIRS will deploy include the deployment of E-services, ITAS, inter-agency data exchange and VAT automation by the FIRS (to charge VAT on online purchases via auto-deductions by Banks acting as Agents).

The use of technology she said “has enhanced the performance of leading revenue generating agencies, worldwide, and we trust that this will be the case for us, as we optimally adopt ICT platforms, systems and techniques to enhance the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of the FIRS operations.”

Fed Govt rakes in over ₦70bn from VAIDS

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