Apparently, we do not pay enough taxes. And we don’t even mean to sound sarcastic. It’s just that there’s been so much noise about unemployment and non-payment of workers’ salaries and just general lack of financial happiness that it never crossed our minds that people owe the government anything from their empty pockets. But that’s something the Presidency has been having sleepless nights about. So bad they had to tweet this:
— Govt of Nigeria (@AsoRock) March 16, 2017
And because of that or maybe in addition to that (who knows these days?), Nigeria has one of world’s lowest non-oil tax to GDP ratios, at 6%? A percentile that needs to go up to 15% by 2020.
They aren’t even joking or just saying because they have gone ahead to fix a date to start the process of remedying that situation. You are all going to “want to pay taxes” by the 1st of May. Yes, this year!
How you ask?
Through the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). Through this scheme, the under-payment of tax via the use of Tax Havens and other evasion strategies will be blocked. So that multi-national companies and high net worth individuals who have been cheating the country (so to say) can no longer.
The proposed Nigeria Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) will capitalise on the considerable international goodwill built by President Buhari in his mission to rebuild Nigeria as well as the current global movement against tax evasion and illicit financial flows.
“It will offer a window for those who have not complied with extant tax regulations to remedy their position by the provision of limited amnesty to enable voluntary declaration and payment of liabilities” in order to both raise Nigeria’s tax to GDP ratio to 15% from just 6% by 2020 as well as generate revenue and encourage investment and economic activity.
While the Federal government obviously has no idea or maybe aren’t revealing the modalities for this VAIDS, they say that it will embrace all Federal and States’ taxes such as Companies Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Petroleum Profits Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duties, Tertiary Education Tax, & Technology Tax.
Another thing the FG is certain of is that revenue to be generated from the scheme should run into US$1 billion; half of which will belong to the States. And that figure is only their conservative estimate!
Hopefully, they’ll provide the funds from which they can then tax Nigerians by that 1st of May.
Follow @ynaija on Twitter