Babatunde Fowler, chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), says the service has realised N20 billion out of the N350 billion projected to be realised from the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).
Speaking in an interview with financial correspondents at the February 2018 members evening of the Institute of Directors in Nigeria in Lagos, Fowler said Nigeria experienced significant increase in tax revenue in 2017.
He said N4 trillion was realised as tax revenue in 2017, an increase from N3.3 trillion in 2016.
VAIDs is a 9-month programme organised by the ministry of finance and FIRS (July 2017 to March 2018) given to taxpayers to regularise their tax status and pay any taxes due.
Full disclosure of previously undisclosed assets and income will translate to forgiveness of overdue interest and penalties and the assurance that they will not face criminal prosecution for tax offences.
As of November 2017, Fowler said that VAIDS had yielded N16.9 billion at the federal level alone.
“We have stepped up enforcement activities against task defaulters on different fronts; these include placing non-compliance stickers on business premises of taxpayers with outstanding amounts but made no move to liquidate it,” he said.
He said VAIDS gives Nigeria the opportunity to widen its tax net and improve its tax to GDP ratio, which is currently at six percent.
The FIRS chairman said the major takeaway from the United Nations forum he attended in New York was the sustainable tax to GDP ratio for any economy 15 percent.