The Principal Partner, ROAC Chartered Accountants, a leading accounting and tax advisory firm, Mr. Gbenga Akinyemi, says taxpayers must take advantage of the tax amnesty being offered by the Federal Government through the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme.
The VAIDS is an initiative of the Ministry of Finance and Federal Inland Revenue Service, presenting a time-bound opportunity for individuals and corporations to regularise their tax positions.
The scheme, which started July last year, will end on March 31, 2018.
The scheme encourages concerned persons to voluntarily disclose previously undisclosed financial incomes and assets for amnesty against tax audit, penalties and interests on taxes due.
Akinyemi said some clever taxpayers had latched on the opportunity presented by the scheme to regularise their tax positions.
He, however, noted that some people had continued to adopt a wait-and-see approach to the matter.
Urging such people to take advtange of the scheme, the ROAC boss said, “My advice to any concerned taxpayer is to seize this unique time-bound opportunity to regularise their tax positions to avoid any potential risk the expiration of the deadline may throw up. People must act now!”
Akinyemi, an FCA, said tax administration and collection had made headlines due to the necessity occasioned by the country’s dwindling oil receipts.
He added that the oil crisis had led to a huge gap between inflows and outflows in government coffers.
The expert recalled that crude oil, the country’s main revenue earner was priced above $100 per barrel but now averages $60 per barrel. He noted that at the height of the crisis, it was priced at around $30.
Akinyemi explained, “As the weight of public expectations grow, governments are pressured to bolster their revenue positions. Taxation presents an avenue for them to achieve this. Some proactive governments have positioned their states to improve tax collection by creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. A case in point is Lagos which continues to be the trailblazer in revenue drive creativity.
Without doubt, information technology has impacted virtually every sphere of our lives. The
“monumental leap in IT within a short space of time was never imagined years back. Taxation is not left out in this race. Tax authorities continue to explore IT in their quest to improve administration and collection.
My advice to individuals and corporate entities in our country is to regularise their tax position promptly as authorities will leverage on IT to improve collection by unmasking supposed loopholes and safe havens in tax administration and strengthen enforcement.