Tax amnesty: A win-win for everybody
by SEYI JOHN SALAU
March 6, 2018 | 12:34 am| | | Start Conversation
Industry expert and Head, Tax,Regulatory and People Services, KPMG Nigeria, Wole Obayomi, said that the tax amnesty granted by the Federal Government through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) is a win-win for the society and the government capable of scaling up FIRS tax revenue for the year.
Speaking at the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria, Members’ Evening with the theme ‘Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) and Responsible Tax Practice’ held in Lagos recently, Obayomi said the scheme offers an option of paying outstanding tax over a 3-year period. According to him, the amnesty includes waiver of interest and penalty, immunity from tax audit, and prosecution for tax offenses.
“Taxpayers taking advantage of the Scheme are entitled to certain benefits in exchange for full, honest and verifiable declaration of their assets and income, and paying up their resulting tax liabilities,” said Obayomi.
Obayomi however posit that the key focus of the KPMG tax practices is to support it clients. “In all areas of our work we apply uncompromising professional standards. KPMG’s Global Principles for a Responsible Tax Practice are the foundation of expected standards and conduct,” he stated. Babatunde Fowler, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), guest speaker for the night said VAIDS will provide an opportunity to increase tax awareness and compliance among the public, in addition to raising FIRS tax revenue for the period of its operation.
According to him, the sharp drop in oil revenue necessitated the renewed vigor for non-oil tax revenue for the country. “It is a known fact that the decline in oil revenue contribution since 2014 to date has had an adverse effect on the ability of the country to meet her development objectives,” said Fowler.
He is however optimistic that the successes recorded in the 45 Days Tax Amnesty Window (4th October 2016 – 25th November 2016), will help the service achieve its N6.747 trillion tax revenue for 2018.
According to Fowler, during the 45 days window, the service received 2,735 applications with tax liability of N94.08 billion, payment received was N35.82 billion and outstanding interest free instalment N58.26 billion.
Ahmed Rufai Mohammed, President/Chairman of Council, IoD, in his welcome address said the institute provides platforms that promote the entrenchment of sound business ethics in work places and support the formulation of policies that encourage business growth and development in Nigeria.
“Members’ Evening is one of such platforms provided by the institute to create awareness amongst members of IoD Nigeria, of government policies and programmes.
“The event also provides opportunities for our members to make meaningful inputs and policy options that could enhance government decision making process on issues bordering on provision of an enabling environment for businesses,” Mohammed stated.
SEYI JOHN SALAU
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