VAIDS: Mercy Ends April 1st, 2018, Says Fowler. This implies that people expecting extension of the programme will be the ultimate April Fools.
On April 1st, 2018, the door of mercy will be shut against all defaulting taxpayers who refused to take advantage of the Federal Government’s Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tunde Fowler said today.
The Federal Government conceived VAIDS to encourage defaulting taxpayers to voluntarily declare their income and assets, hitherto undisclosed and then pay applicable tax liabilities over a defined period without facing applicable sanctions.
The scheme is scheduled to run from July 1st, 2017 to March 31st, 2018 and it is expected to turn in about US$1billion to the national treasury.
VAIDS is like an amnesty for tax offenders.
While some defaulting taxpayers have used the opening offered by VAIDS to clear themselves, others are still asking the federal government to shift the March 31st, 2018 deadline.
But Fowler answered them today at a VAIDS stakeholders’ workshop, insisting that the March deadline remains sacrosanct.
“Those who have no intention of complying will not comply even if you extend the deadline to 10 years,”, those were the words Fowler used to dismiss calls for extension.
Four months into the implementation of VAIDS an estimated $50 million has already been raised by tax authorities.
Recall that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had on June 29, as acting president, had launched the scheme which commenced on July 1 to last for a period of 9 months.
At a forum with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum some days ago, Fowler, who is one of the major drivers of VAIDS noted: “I am glad to note that a lot of enquires have been made both at the state and federal level. At the federal level, over $50 million has been realised through this scheme today. I will like also to use this opportunity to call on the general public to give total support to tax authorities and revenue agencies to enable us efficiently discharge our duties by collecting the needed revenue to fund government projects and services.
We believe that payment of tax is your contribution towards the society we live. As tax administrators, we have created a platform where other revenue agencies such as Nigeria Custom Service, Immigration and Federal Road Safety Corps can work hand in hand to optimise revenue collection”, he said.