FG hopeful of better economy through VAIDS
•Targets $1 billion from scheme
The Federal Government has explained that the newly launched Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS would improve the citizens’ standard of living.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, expressed the hope yesterday at an interactive session organised on VAIDS by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria, for executives and business owners.
According to her, while most developing countries have a tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)’s ratio above 20 per cent, Nigeria still records a global reduction of six per cent.
Adeosun explained that government was targeting about one billion dollars through the scheme to boost the economy, adding it would help improve the democratic process and create a better lifestyle for Nigerians.
She said that the scheme would improve good governance, guarantee a better quality of life, encourage robust national planning and increase size of the formal economy.
The minister said taxpayers who make full and honest declarations would enjoy waiver of interest, as well as penalty.
She cited other benefits to include immunity from prosecution, confidentiality of information supplied, exemption from tax audits for the periods covered by the disclosure and a flexible payment of tax due.
Adeosun disclosed that taxpayers who fail to participate in the scheme would be investigated and prosecuted, if found culpable.
She further stated that the Federal Government would start a full media campaign from next week, involving newspapers, radio, television and online media to create awareness.
She said: “We intend to drive deep awareness of this by training professionals, organising seminars for lawyers and accountants to educate them, so they could also educate their clients.”
Adeosun stated that at six per cent, Nigeria’s tax compliance rate was low, while most developed nations were at 30 to 32 per cent.