Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has warned individuals and corporate entities, who refuse to take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), that the service voted a bigger sum of money for legal fees in its 2018 budget.
Fowler, who made the disclosure in a recent interview explained that those under the impression that the government will be fazed by an avalanche of litigations that may arise at the closure of the VAIDS window on March 31 are mistaken. He also warned that the deadline will not be extended, as many are hoping.
The FIRS boss stated that apart from the naming and shaming of tax debtors as well as closure of business premises in the case of companies, those who fail to declare will face prosecution if necessary.
“If it takes that (prosecution), we increased our legal fees in our 2018 budget. Every tax defaulter will be prosecuted. People say we should use the 80-20 principle, meaning that we focus on those that give us 80 per cent of their taxes,” said the FIRS Chairman.
He warned that the law demands full compliance and nothing less. “You can say that you are a big taxpayer and you have paid N1 billion and because you have paid N1 billion, we should leave N500 million you are owing.
Meanwhile, somebody who paid N100,000 paid 100 per cent of his tax liabilities, meaning he is 100 per cent compliant. The organisation that paid N1 billion and still has N500 million left is only 50 per cent compliant. So, what we look at, as tax administrators, is the level of compliance,” said Fowler.