Members of the business community and tax experts will, tomorrow, converge on Enugu, capital of Enugu State, as the state government hosts officials of Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).
The VAIDS team will be led by the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, whose ministry initiated VAIDS as a panacea to the country’s culture of low tax compliance. Hosting the team is the Enugu State governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who will be supported by members of the state Executive Council.
The parley, which holds at Base Event Centre, is conceived to provide information on the scheme to members of the business community and other taxpayers on how to comply with VAIDS.
The scheme, which began last July, offers a time-limited opportunity for tax debtors to truthfully declare their indebtedness to the appropriate tax authorities and have the benefit of spreading payment over a maximum three-year period. VAIDS seeks to institute a culture of voluntary tax compliance, yield more money to the government for the country’s development and reduce reliance on oil revenue.
An estimated $1billion is expected to be realized from the implementation of VAIDS, which gives room to tax defaulters to declare before the end of the window on 31 March.
The Federal Government has repeatedly stated that there will no extension of the deadline and has vowed that non-declarers will face prosecution at the end of window. It has also continued to advise tax debtors to take advantage of the opportunity offered by VAIDS, as they would be find through technology and data.
Since the scheme was launched, it has collected income and transaction data of about 10 million Nigerians, with more still being collected for analysis that would determine their tax status. Data have been collected from state and federal tax authorities, payment platforms, Nigeria Customs Service, Central Bank of Nigeria, Corporate Affairs Commission, banks, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries as well as state land registries.