THE Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, has disclosed that the newly formulated Automatic Exchange of Information, which Nigeria is a party to, will successfully end tax evasion. The Automatic Exchange of Information becomes effective from year 2018. In a statement by CITN’s President, Chief Cyril Ede, the institute lauded Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who recently signed the Executive Order which provides a legal framework for the Ministry of Finance to set up the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, in collaboration with all the 36 states of the Federation.
He said the primary purpose of the scheme is to bring more taxpayers into the tax net so as to enable them pay all outstanding taxes, adding that the amnesty period would run for a period of nine months commencing from July 1, 2017 to March 30, 2018. Ede said, “The VAIDS is a right step in the right direction as its intentions are applauded. Tax payer amnesty and relief programmes are an increasingly popular means used effectively globally by tax authorities to encourage tax payers to come forward and correct errant tax filings in exchange for potential immunity from prosecution, reduced penalties and other relief. “We, therefore, encourage those that intend to take advantage of the Scheme to make honest declarations so that they will be free from prosecution and will qualify for forgiveness of penalties and interest under the Automatic Exchange of Information, which Nigeria is now a party to and which comes into effect in 2018. ”Non compliance with the scheme could lead to a full criminal investigation, criminal prosecution and even potential forfeiture of the assets as possible proceeds of crime.”