According to the Joint Tax Board (JTB), as at May 2017 the total number of taxpayers in Nigeria was estimated at 14 million out of 69.9 million who are economically active. This is why Nigeria has one of the lowest tax to GDP ratios in the world (6%).
In a bid to improve the tax culture in the country, the Federal Government has recently launched the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).
VAIDS is a time-limited initiative designed to encourage voluntary disclosure of all assets and income; it is also a medium for tax-payers to regularize their tax status without penalty charges nor interest.
This scheme will aid in increasing the number of taxpayers in the tax net and also raise revenue. It is set to run in two phases from July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. The first phase, from the July 1 to December 31, 2017 offers an amnesty window for Nigerians who have evaded taxes whether ignorantly or deliberately. It provides an opportunity for them to regularize their pending taxes without penalty and interest charges. The second phase, from the 1st of January to March, however allows citizens to regularize outstanding taxes without penalty but with interest.
After the scheme is over, all outstanding tax defaulters are subject to severe punishments given by the Nigerian and international law so all Nigerians are advised to take full advantage of this scheme.
*To find out more about this scheme please visit: http://vaids.gov.ng/