If you have received huge sum of money in the last five years without paying commensurate taxes and you are yet to take advantage of the tax amnesty programme, the government is coming for you.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the finance ministry said the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) has commenced the collection of data on the income and assets of high net-worth individuals and companies in the country.

This is said to be the first step in collecting intelligence that will ensure that corporate entities and individuals who may refuse to take advantage of VAIDS.

Data have already been mined from the Nigerian Customs Service and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) for all payments and receipts over N100 million between 2010 and 2015 — and personal bank accounts will be in the next round of data mining.

Data will also be collated from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, state lands departments, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), land registries, treasury bills and Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and payment platforms such as Remitta.

“The data being collected is on individual and corporate liquid as well as fixed assets and income over the last five years both within and outside Nigeria. Data collected will be profiled against tax payments made by such individuals and corporate entities,” it said.

VAIDS is an initiative of the ministry of finance that provides a time-specific opportunity for taxpayers with tax liabilities to regularise their tax status by truthfully declaring previously undisclosed assets and income.

Taxpayers who take advantage of the window avoid penalties and interest on taxes owed, tax audits and prosecution for tax offences.

Federal government expects to generate $1 billion, raise the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio from an unimpressive 6 percent, one of the lowest in the world, to 20 percent by 2020 and provide vast tax education to boost voluntary compliance.


With details from TheCable