500 Prominent Nigerians Invited To Regularise Their Tax Status – Kemi Adeosun

About 500 prominent Nigerians with property and trusts abroad are to be invited to determine their tax compliance status at home.
The Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, said the 500 Nigerians would be served letters from Monday to invite them to take advantage of the tax amnesty to regularise their tax status and avoid prosecution and fines.
According to a statement from her office, the minister disclosed this on Saturday at a workshop organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, and Joint Tax Board, JTB for lawyers, accountants and other professionals in Lagos.
The names of the affected Nigerians were compiled by the government recently as part of tax amnesty policy under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, initiative.
VAIDS, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the State Tax Authorities, provides tax defaulters a nine-month opportunity to voluntarily and truthfully declare previously untaxed assets and incomes.
The tax amnesty period is expected to lapse on March 31, 2018.
"The first 500 letters are ready and will go out this week,” the Minister said. “But, there are many more. "Receiving the letter is not an accusation of deliberate wrongdoing” but rather a notice that the data suggests possible underpayment and a prompt to check compliance,” the minister explained.
"It is premature to call such persons tax evaders as there are many reasons that taxpayers may have failed to comply. We will only label people as real tax evaders when the amnesty deadline expires and they have failed to regularize.
"We are sending out thousands of letters to those in the high risk categories. But our advice is that every person and every company should do a self-assessment and take advantage of VAIDs to correct any under declaration, irrespective of whether they get a letter,” she added.
Mrs. Adeosun said government was generating lots of data, both locally and internationally, on property ownership and other items by Nigerians.
As part of efforts to develop reliable tax payers database, Mrs. Adeosun said government had reviewed all companies that received major payments from the federal government in the last five years to identify those who may have made money from government, but under-declared.
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