Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to com­mence re­view of tax re­turns of its con­trac­tors

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Development -

As part of ef­forts to im­prove tax com­pli­ance lev­els, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has com­menced re­view­ing the tax com­pli­ance records of all con­trac­tors who re­ceived pay­ments from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and its var­i­ous agen­cies in the last 7 years. This fol­lows the re­sults of a sam­pling ex­er­cise con­ducted by the Min­istry of Fi­nance which found that less than 20% of con­trac­tors re­viewed ac­cu­rately stated the in­come re­ceived from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment in their tax re­turns, while many made no dec­la­ra­tion at all.

The Min­istry of Fi­nance and Of­fice of the Ac­coun­tant Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion are now com­pil­ing de­tailed records of all pay­ments ex­ceed­ing N100 mil­lion made in the last 7 years, in­clud­ing de­tails of the ben­e­fi­ciary bank ac­counts and other de­tails.

The data­base project dubbed 'Project Light House' is aimed at build­ing com­pre­hen­sive pro­files of tax pay­ers us­ing a wide range of avail­able data sources, in­clud­ing BVN, for­eign ex­change al­lo­ca­tions, land reg­istry records, and in­for­ma­tion ob­tained from for­eign gov­ern­ments. The data will be used to cross-check in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to the tax au­thor­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to the fi­nance min­is­ter Kemi Adeo­sun, “It was a mat­ter of con­cern that those who earned money di­rectly from gov­ern­ment, which is both trace­able and ver­i­fi­able, still failed to pay the cor­rect taxes thereon.” She urged such com­pa­nies to promptly take ad­van­tage of the con­ces­sions of­fered un­der the Vol­un­tary As­set and In­come Dec­la­ra­tion Scheme, adding that once an au­dit or in­ves­ti­ga­tion had com­menced, a com­pany or in­di­vid­ual would not be able to stop that process by par­tic­i­pat­ing in VAIDS.

Nige­rian Fi­nance Min­is­ter Kemi Adeo­sun

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