FIRS, States Collaborate to Track High Net Worth Persons

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The Joint Tax Board (JTB) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said it has started sharing information of high net worth individuals to profile their income and tax payments to ensure they pay the appropriate taxes.

Speaking at the 138th meeting of the JTB on Sunday, Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, said 12 states have signed the memorandum of understanding under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).

Fowler, according to the news Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the tax board has engaged the services of a consultant to ensure that states tax authorities and the FIRS integrate data to improve compliance and tax revenue.

According to Fowler, this would ensure the FIRS and JTB identify high net worth individuals, track their tax status and compliance. He announced that there are no untouchables as regards the implementation of VAIDS.
Speaking on behalf of the FIRS and the JTB, I want to assure you that we have received the blessing and political will of the president, the acting president to implement VAIDS.

“The executive is behind us, the senate, the house of representatives, are behind us and the judiciary is behind us. It is now left for us to perform our duties in the right and best way,” he said.

“We are changing the financial profile of the country and of course, taxation is in the forefront. Our vision is to ensure that the governments, at all levels have enough resources to provide essential facilities to everyone. We are also moving away from taxes based solely on oil that are not predictable to non-oil taxes.

“I am happy to announce that at no time in the history of the FIRS have states and JTB have enjoyed this level of collaboration that we are enjoying today. Collaboration is important, states cannot be said to be doing well if the FIRS is not doing well. In the same vein, FIRS cannot be said to be doing well if states are not doing well.

“Between September 25 and 29 2017, the African Tax Administration Forum will be meeting in Abuja. Leaders of tax authorities will be in attendance. We believe that collaboration between heads of tax authorities and ministers of finance is healthy for tax work. We will encourage them to come.”

In June, Acting President Yemi Osibanjo had signed an executive order on voluntary assets declarations, saying tax payment is a duty to the nation.