Tax defaulters risk five years jail, asset forfeiture – FG

Tax defaulters risk five years jail, asset forfeiture - FG

Tax defaulters in the country risk at least five years jail and asset forfeiture, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, disclosed yesterday.

Her warning is coming even as the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will on Thursday, June 29, launch the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), a new tax reform programme of the Federal Government aimed at increasing tax awareness and compliance.

The new initiative will grant tax payers a grace period to regularise their tax status without penalty.

The Minister, in a statement in Abuja yesterday said: “Punishment for evasion is severe. All tax evaders, when identified, are subject to the full force of Nigerian and international law, including imprisonment of up to five years. There are also extra severe penalties of up to 100 per cent of the outstanding tax due, compound interest at 21 per cent per annum and forfeiture of assets.

“The plan to be executed jointly by federal and state governments, concentrates on the national duty of all Nigerian companies and citizens to pay their taxes wherever their income is earned, wherever they reside and no matter how rich they are,” she stated.

Adeosun added that tax evasion leaves an unfair burden of payment on the poorest Nigerians.

She, however, expressed joy that regulatory change was enabling easier access to information across the world for government to track taxable obligations of the citizens.

She said: “International agreements effective 2018 make the exchange of banking information across borders automatic. Nigeria has signed agreements with a number of nations (US, UK, Canada, UAE, Switzerland, Mauritius, Panama and Bahamas) – all of whom have pledged support and cooperation to exchange information on citizens that is relevant for tax purposes.”

The Minister revealed that tax evaders who want to avoid the full force of the law have between July 1 and December 31, 2017 to regularise their tax status in exchange for immunity from prosecution of tax offences and a tax audit, and be absolved from penalty charges and interests.

She further revealed that the government would recruit experts to assist in investigating and tracing assets owned by Nigerians.

She said the government targets at least $1 billion from this initiative, assuring that the funds would be judiciously and transparently spent.

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5 Comments

  1. what will then happen to those in the helm of affairs to effectively and efficiently utilize the tax revenue but divert it for personal pocket or officials who are suppose to monitor tax revenue utilization. Most companies in Nigeria generate their power and water by themselves, these are leakages to the companies hitherto preventing them from earning enough to pay tax. let government provides effective electricity for all and see if people/coys will not pay their taxes.OGA MINISTER PLEASE WAKE UP.

  2. Today. I just agree that this MISTER does NOT understand what she is talking about. She is comparing USA. UK and other Contries that rose to their responsibilities by providing GOOD ROAD, WATER, ELECTRICITY and other amenities to their populace. In NIGERIA three is NOTHING like that. People like the Ministers keep these Monies in their personal pocket for their families and themselves. Fine, let us look at it . Good enough there is a good reward for the Wissele Blowes. The first port of call is ABEOKUTA her Hometown. That is enough. There are many people that
    We make them to be a good example of their PROPERTIES FORFITURES. Mama. Please, think of something else.

  3. Penny wise pounds foolish is disturbing the Minister,records shows that about 5trillion is spent on fuel and diesel by Nigerian to power their generators yearly. If this awesome cash leakages(Though in the hands oil mogul)is blocked,surely,about 2trillion could be earned by PHCN if they have provided power for people,VAT emanating from this is about 1billion.Government is generating virtually nothing from water or vat from water supply because they failed to provide these amenities, Nigerians are providing all these except may be road by themselves and you expect them to accumulate profit/savings out of which they are expected to pay tax. MINISTER PLEASE SET YOUR PRIORITY RIGHT AND DONT CHASE SHADOWS,PLEASE CHASE HOW POWER WILL BE STABLE IN THE ECONOMY FIRST BEFORE THIS YOUR DRACONIAL/DEMONIC LAW.

  4. Thank God Dogora mentioned that 5 trillion is spent on fueling generators in our dailies after I had mentioned here about 4 weeks ago the ludicrous amount of leakages via generators fueling,its disheartening that our so call government never deemed it thoughtful before now. see my response above to Adeosun in June.

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