No Hiding Place For Non-Compliant Tax Payers – FIRS Boss
By Yakubu Salisu A, Kano
The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue, (FIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler, on Tuesday in Kano, affirmed that there is no hiding place for Non-Compliant tax payers, who have refused to seize the opportunity on ground to settle their appropriate taxes.
In his keynote address on training workshop for professionals advising clients on participation in the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), Fowler, described the scheme, as tax amnesty programme in which tax payers are expected to take advantage of in view of its time limited opportunities given to tax defaulters to voluntarily come forward to regularize their tax status in consideration of certain incentives given by government.
Fowler categorically stated that, VAID is targeted at every tax payer, who have unlawfully underpaid or has not been paying tax by any means, adding that the scheme will run for a nine months period from July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.
During the period, it would provide opportunities for tax payers to regularize their tax status relating to previous tax period through honestly declaring previously undisclosed assets and income they are entitled to benefit from the forgiveness of overdue interest and penalties, coupled with the assurance that they would not face criminal prosecution for tax offences or be subjected to tax investigations.
However, he blamed some firms and individuals for not paying appropriate taxes, due to non-registration, non-filling of returns, under declaration of income/assets, over stating of costs or failure to remit taxes deducted from staff or vendors.
Fowler said: ”There would be no hiding place for the non-compliant tax payers, it is crystal that the cost of compliance is much more lower than the cost of non-compliance; as the saying goes: ” A stitch in time saves nine.”
According to him, the recent call by the Federal Ministry of Finance for Contractors to provide tax identification number (TIN) and evidence of full tax compliance by presenting tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) before contract is awarded and effecting the payment for contract executed; as such, this should be the best interest for them to explore this window of (VAIDS) to normalize all their tax matters with relevant tax authorities.
Finally, gathered here are professionals, (stakeholders), adviser to your clients; you are the bridge between the tax payers and the tax authorities, as this training and workshop is timely and therefore urged participants to take advantage of the golden opportunity to know the different scenarios of their distinguished in order to achieve the overall success of the scheme, which was based in executive order signed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on June 29, 2017 in his capacity as the Acting President then.