VAIDS is tax revolution, says tax institute
The coming of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) has been described as a tax revolution, which would change virtually all the anomalies and poor orientation to taxation in the country.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), which made the observation, said the move towards awakening the tax culture and base is in line with global initiatives to tackle the problem of illicit financial flows and tax evasion that has contributed to Nigeria’s underdevelopment.
The institute’s President/Chairman of Council, Chief Cyril Ede, said the strategy to tackle the problem effectively, which involves the signing of agreements with a number of nations to provide Automatic Exchange of Information is also commendable.
This means that Nigeria will automatically have information required to successfully pursue tax evaders across the world, with some of the tax haven countries like Bahamas, Panama, Switzerland, among others are now party to the deal.
There is also an agreement to share bank information under Common Reporting Standard (CRS), with a number of countries like Indonesia, Italy and Argentina,, which have seen their tax revenues moved illegally to other nations already into similar programmes.
CITN chief, who recalled that the institute has been in the vanguard of the calls on government to declare tax amnesty, noted that the call was contained in a communique of the 18th Annual Tax Conference in May 2016.
“We are also happy to observe that all the State Internal Revenue Services and the FCT IRS under the umbrella of the Joint Tax Board had keyed into this worthy initiative and in full support; as the new scheme would contribute immensely towards boosting their much-needed internally generated revenue.
“The collaboration between the FIRS and the State Governments to tackle the problem of lack of full disclosure of assets and income, non – filing of tax returns and payment of tax, tax evasion and avoidance is laudable,” he said.
The tax chief said the institute is now awaiting procedural framework from the Ministry of Finance for purpose of assisting in the understanding of the implementation process in a manner that is consistent with extant laws.