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IoD boss seeks extension of VAIDS deadline, says compliance still slow



President and Chairman of Council, Institute of Directors (IoD), Nigeria, Ahmed Mohammed, has called for an extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).

He said this would provide greater awareness and increased compliance with the scheme.

Following Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on-going publicity of the scheme, he said the response to the campaign was still at a slow pace, even as he anticipated that the trend would change for the better.

The IoD boss, who said this in Lagos at the 2018 members’ evening, expressed concerns over multiple taxation in all tiers of government, adding the the issue was fast becoming one of the inhibiting factors to the growth of businesses in Nigeria.

He said tax compliance in the country calls for concerted efforts whether in the public or private sector, if government’s revenue base would increase.

Chairman of FIRS, Tunde Fowler, urged members of the Institute to take advantage of the VAIDS                 

In his presentation titled: Achieving Voluntary Tax Compliance: The VAIDS Option, he explained that the key motivation for introducing the scheme was to keep the country’s tax remittance rate low despite having some of Africa’s most profitable and well capitalised companies.           

“Nigeria’s low tax revenues are inconsistent with the lifestyles and spending habits of a large number of citizens, stressing that most people are engaged in transfer of assets overseas, use of offshore companies in tax havens and registration of assets in nominee names

He noted that tax evasion constitutes a significant challenge to the government and listed a number of ways through which taxes are evaded. 

Among these, he said, were manipulation of accounting records, use of complex structures for transactions, non-registration for Value Added Tax (VAT), non-payment of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on asset disposal and escaping detection of income due to lack of machinery for tracing such.         

The FIRS boss, however, warned that under VAIDS, tax evaders would not escape. He explained that the Federal Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with relevant tax authorities, was building a revenue assurance platform through extensive gathering of data from Bank Verification Number (BVN), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Corporate Affairs Commission  (CAC), land allocation and land ownership records, foreign exchange allocation returns and bureaux de change records.   

Head of Tax, Regulatory and People Service Practice, KPMG, Wole Abayomi, who affirmed Fowler’s submissions, stated that structures were already being put in place with global collaboration against tax evasion and defaulters.

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