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We’ve resources to prosecute tax debtors after VAIDS – Fowler

We’ve resources to prosecute tax debtors after VAIDS – Fowler

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Akinpelu Dada

The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has warned individuals and corporate entities, who refuse to take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, that the service has voted a bigger sum of money for legal fees in its 2018 budget.

The FIRS boss explained that those under the impression that the government would be fazed by an avalanche of litigation that might arise at the closure of the VAIDS window on March 31 were mistaken.

He also warned that the deadline for the tax amnesty programme would be not be extended as many were hoping for.

Fowler stated in a statement on Wednesday that apart from the naming and shaming of tax debtors as well as closure of business premises in the case of companies, those who failed to declare their assets and incomes for tax purposes would face prosecution if necessary.

The FIRS chairman added, “If it takes that (prosecution), we have increased our legal fees in our 2018 budge. 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.

“You can say that you are a big taxpayer and you have paid N1bn and because you have paid N1bn, we should leave the N500m 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 N1bn and still has N500m left is only 50 per cent compliant. So, what we look at, as tax administrators, is the level of compliance.”

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