The Lagos State Board of Inland Revenue, LIRS, has begun a campaign to educate residents of the state on the advantages of responding with action on Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).
VAIDS is a Federal Government of Nigeria’s initiative to give a time-limited opportunity for taxpayers to regularise their tax status relating to previous tax periods.
The campaign, a sensitization walk/road show, took top management staff and workers of the LIRS, who included the Executive Chairman of the agency, Mr Ayo Subair, to some shopping malls in the Lagos metropolis.
Other top directors of the LIRS on the sensitisation walk were Mr Igho Orienru, Assistant Director Training School, Mr Jimi Aina, Board Secretary, Mr Maruf Tijani Director Finance and Accounts, Mr Abiru, Assistant Director HNWI & Withholding Tax.
At Shoprite in Alausa, Ikeja, the Executive Chairman was seeing personally approaching people, explaining the rationale behind VAIDS and inherent benefits. The walks also took the LIRS team to Ikeja and Maryland Shopping Malls.
While speaking with the media, Mr. Subair said Nigerians, who voluntarily declared their tax status within the period of the first phase of VAIDS, 1 July to 31 December, 2017 and second phase 1 January to 31 March, 2018, stand to gain some benefits in exchange for fully and honestly declaring previously undisclosed assets and income. These include but not limited to tax payers benefiting from the forgiveness of overdue interests and penalties, and the assurance that they will not face criminal prosecution for tax offences or be subject to tax investigations after the deadline dates.
According to him, VAIDS ushers in an opportunity to increase the nation’s general tax awareness and compliance. He said the scheme will cover all Federal and States taxes such as companies income tax, personal income tax, petroleum profit tax, capita gains tax, stamp duties and tertiary education tax. He added that the scheme covers all taxable persons and entities including individuals, trusts, executors, registered companies and statutory companies.
While payment of the taxes is made to relevant tax authorities such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and various states revenue boards, Subair said that the Federal Government appreciates that many defaulters have assets that may not have cash, they will however be allowed to enter into arrangements to pay outstanding liabilities in instalments.