FG Steps Up Data Collection on VAIDS


Nume Ekeghe

Thousands of tax defaulters are already gripped by fear of being exposed following the intensification of transaction and income data collection by the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).

The scheme, which provides a time-limited opportunity for tax debtors to regularise their tax status by truthfully declaring, ends on 31 March.

VAIDS offices sources disclosed that income, assets and transaction data of millions of Nigerians have been obtained from a variety of sources, including land registries, banks, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Airports of Authority of Nigeria and numerous payment information platforms.

The data have been analysed to yield tax debt profile of individuals and companies after which letters were written to defaulters, warning them to comply with VAIDS before the deadline.

Owners of undeclared offshore assets are equally certain to be tracked through a variety of multi-jurisdictional agreements to which Nigeria is signatory.

Among these are Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI), which kicked in on 1 January.

It enables tax authorities in Nigeria to receive information, even without requesting, from tax authorities in other countries.

The federal government has also started working on modalities for the implementation of the Common Reporting Standards (CRS), which will deliver taxpayers’ information to government directly from commercial banks.

Full implementation of the CRS will enable the government receive information from accounts domiciled in countries by Nigerian tax residents.