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Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Wednesday said it will publish the list of tax defaulters mid July following the commencement of compilation of data on tax defaulters, as the deadline given for the Voluntary Assets Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) policy expired on June 30.
Chairman of the FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, gave this indications after a session with the Federal Executive Council (FEC), chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday where he briefed the Council on the ratification of automatic exchange of information with other countries.
“ I was here today to attend the meeting with the Minister of Finance to ratify the automatic exchange of information. Basically what this means is that Nigeria as a country exchange financial information with other member countries which hopefully should improve our revenues and also ensure that all Nigerians that do have investments or businesses or incomes abroad will pay their taxes as at and when due”.
According to him “the response has been very good. We are collating all the figures both at the federal levels and the states levels and I believe that by the middle of July, we should be able to tell the nation the exact progress in terms of the numbers that have declared, amount that have been paid and amount that is going to be paid on installments”
He declared that those who refused to take advantage of the grace period given by the Voluntary Assets Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) policy, which expired at the end of last month, would be made to pay their taxes alongside the required penalties.
He disclosed that VAIDS expired on June 30th and anyone who has not come forth by now to declare his or her asset all the legal means to make sure that we bring them to book and make sure that they pay the appropriate tax with interests and penalties will be implemented.
On alleged multiple taxation by government agencies, Fowler said “Let me say once again that we do not really have a situation of multiple taxation. You only have multiple taxation when you pay the same tax to different tiers of government. What we have found out is that a lot of people categorize any payment to government as a tax. For example if you receive fine, a penalty they call it a tax. If you pay for the parking space, they call it a tax. Those are the things you refer to as user charges and not taxes.”
“The federal government has through the ministry of information and also through the office of the Vice President have been talking about the different projects that have been financed with tax revenues and I think as Nigerians begin to see those dividends of democracy, very good spending, people will be more encouraged to pay more taxes,”Fowler added.
He insisted the government had done enough by allowing previous tax defaulters to pay voluntary through the window provided by VAID.
SOURCE- Business Day