Fowler to Tax Defaulters: Take advantage of VAIDS, avoid prosecution

FIRS chairman, Babatunde Fowler has urged tax avoiders to take advantage of VAIDS

Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has advised tax defaulters to take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) and avoid prosecution as well as other penalties at the end of the scheme on 31 March.

Speaking on Tuesday at the a one-day VAIDS Workshop for professionals in tax advisory services, Fowler, who was represented by Mr. Gbolaga Oshiga, urged Nigerians to truthfully declare their incomes and assets under VAIDS.

The scheme, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance, he said, was conceived to bring more Nigerians into the tax net and increase the country’s Tax-to-GDP ratio from the meagre six per cent.

“Tax compliance level in the country is one of the lowest in the world. The compliance level to GDP is six per cent,” said Fowler.

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He explained that VAIDS, which commenced on last July and ends on 31 March, is a time-limited opportunity for taxpayers to regularize their tax status relating to previous tax periods.

In exchange for truthfully declaring incomes and assets, he added, taxpayers will be escape paying overdue interests, penalties and prosecution.

He warned that the Federal Government is determined and has the wherewithal to prosecute defaulters after the closure of the window.