LAGOS- Magnus Nmonwu, the Regional Director of Sage West Africa has called on all Nigerian “companies and entrepreneurs that don’t have their tax affairs in order” to act now and “take advantage of the government’s Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). It is stated that the scheme “gives taxpayers an opportunity to voluntarily declare all previously undisclosed assets and income, and thereby regularize their affairs.”
According to information gathered from Sage, “VAIDS applies to all taxpaying entities (individuals, companies, executors, trusts, partnerships and so on) and encompasses most tax categories, including company income, personal income, capital gains, VAT and stamp duty.”
This initiative, according to the Regional Director, is “implemented by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in collaboration with the State tax authorities.” Magnus Nmonwu revealed that the scheme “aims to increase Nigeria’s tax base, improve the tax collection to GDP ratio and clamp down non-compliance.” Adding that: “This is a perfect opportunity to come clean for people and companies who have under-declared or failed to declare their assets and income” in the past.
The report confirmed that “Nigeria’s federal and state governments are eager to expand their tax bases, and are investing heavily in modernizing and streamlining tax administration.”
It is however stated that, “When the window closes on 31 March, companies and individuals that do not have their tax affairs in order may be subject to stringent penalties, punitive interest and even criminal prosecution. They may be named and shamed in a register of tax evaders,” which may harm “their personal and business reputations.”
Nmonwu noted that the “first step to compliance is getting your business’s books in order, irrespective of whether you’re running a registered company, earning freelance income or working in a partnership.”
The Director further explained that “Spreadsheets and other manual methods are no longer sufficient to keep up with the growing complexity of today’s tax environment,” advising on the use of state of the art resources and devices. According to him, “Automated software can streamline capturing of transactions, automate payroll calculations, processes and improve visibility into the business so you can comply more easily.
“It can also help you stay on top of annual changes to tax regulations that impact on payroll tax calculations and various changes in legislation. What’s more, the ability to generate tax certificates, reports and electronic payslips with the click of a button is a major timesaver.”
Accordingly, just as published in the Press release fetched from APO, Nmonwu concludes: “Nigeria’s federal and state governments are eager to expand their tax bases, and are investing heavily in modernizing and streamlining tax administration. Companies can no longer risk non-payment of tax or incorrect remittances of taxes to the relevant government agencies, whether the reason is deliberate evasion or an accidental oversight.”