Kemi Adeosun who is the Minister of Finance has stated that Nigerians must start complying with relevant tax laws to make the nation prosperous.
The Minister also said that a prosperous nations have high levels of tax compliance among citizens and every citizen must come ‘clean’ to declare fully and to declare honestly what his or her assets and income are.
Adeosun, in a statement signed by the Director of Information in the Finance Ministry, Salisu Dambatta, said the signing of the executive order by Osinbajo on Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration (VAIDS) underscored the seriousness attached to the scheme, which would be vigorously implemented.
She said: “Prosperous nations have high levels of tax compliance, whilst poor nations have low rates. Nigeria aspires to be a prosperous nation, so this problem must be solved.
“What VAIDS is doing is giving taxpayers, both companies and individuals, a window of opportunity to regularise, to come clean so to speak, to declare fully and to declare honestly.
“In exchange for full and honest declaration, what we are assuring is that we will waive penalties that should have been levied and waive the interest that should have been paid on overdue tax, which is quite considerable; those who declare honestly will not be subject to any investigation or tax audit.
“Technology has been key in enabling us to build an accurate financial profile for Nigerians and based on the information we gathered, we saw that the level of non-compliance was very high and we knew we had to do something about it.
“In the past, tracking true income and assets would have been difficult but now, it is at the touch of a button.”