The federal government on Thursday launched its voluntary asset and income declaration scheme (VAIDS) to broaden the country’s tax base and offer incentives for tax evaders.
According to the ministry of finance, the tax amnesty will run for the next nine months, effective from July 1, 2017.
This is coming just as the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo signed yet another executive order backing the implementation of VAIDS.
The order was signed on Thursday morning to ensure that the scheme, as designed by the ministry of finance, is backed by the full force of the law, leads to the payment of taxes and punish offenders after the nine-month grace period.
From July 1 to December 31, the government would offer “waiver of interest and penalty, no prosecution of tax offences and no tax audit” to all tax evaders who declare their “hidden assets”.
From January 1 to March 31, there will only be “waiver of penalty, no prosecution of tax offences and no tax audit”.
“We are doing two things today: we are sending a clear signal to tax evaders in our country that the party is over,” Kemi Adeosun, the minister of finance, said.
“We’re also calling on these evaders to do the right thing and rapidly come clean for the good of their country or face the full consequences of the law. This window of opportunity will never be offered again.
“The proceeds of this scheme will not disappear. They will be invested in key infrastructure projects and for clearance of pension arrears.”